ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution against United States (US) revised policy on Afghanistan and rejected President Donald Trump’s accusations of harbouring terrorists on Pakistani soul and prolonging insurgency in the country, ARY News reported.
The resolution on the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South-Asia and allegations against Pakistan was tabled by Law Minister Zahid Hamid in the house.
The resolution denounced US decision of taking India on board in connection with countering insurgency in Afghanistan while laying emphasis that Pakistan will continue its support to Kashmir’s struggle for right of self-determination.
“The entire nation is united against Trump’s revised policy for Afghanistan and region as Pakistan has made enormous sacrifices in war against terrorism,” the resolution stressed.
It further emphasized that Pakistan offered sacrifices of over 70,000 lives to eliminate the menace of terrorism while lauding efforts of Pakistan’s armed forces.
Concluding the session, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan launched two massive military operations in the country to counter terrorism in span of two years. “It’s deploring that a super power is holding Pakistan responsible for getting failed in Afghanistan. The entire nation along with state institutions are on one page on the issue,” he remarked.
Asif further said that the government has adopted a unified stance on US revised policy.
During the National Assembly session early today, the legislators unanimously echoed their concerns over the new US policy for the region.
Deploring the US president’s accusations of harbouring terrorists on Pakistani soil, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the whole nation is on one page against the US new policy.
“I have not witnessed a National Assembly session outrightly denouncing the US new policy with a loud voice,” he said.
Lauding government’s decision over consulting regional allies on Trump’s allegations, Qureshi urged that the government should also consult with Iran as suggested by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Referring to a similar statement from Nisar, he said: “As a former foreign minister, I know how difficult it is to get reimbursements under Coalition Support Fund from the US.
“Pakistan does not want to wage a war with America but it also will not bow down to US,” he thundered, adding that Trump’s own statements contradict his present stance on the matter.
Calling US decision of taking India on board on Afghanistan policy a red-line, Qureshi said that former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, a favourite of the US, has also rejected Trump’s policy.
Coming down hard on US president, he said that Trump’s accusation have scuttled Pakistan’s efforts to ensure better border management with Afghanistan, adding that the international community should not forget Pakistan had given shelter to war-stricken Afghan refugees for years.
“How much is the US helping out Pakistan for the welfare of the refugees,” he asked.
Giving voice to majority’s concerns, Qureshi further said that Trump administration should rather deem internal security issues in Afghanistan while deploring Trump’s comments on terror funding. “The vast cultivation of poppy seeds in Afghanistan is the source of terrorism funding,” he added.
Taking aim at India, he said the neighbouring country has been opposing to tackle bilateral issues including Kashmir. “I see a lot of Indian influence in the US Congress,” he further said.
“Pakistan does not want Talibanisation to gain influence in Afghan politics as it is not the government’s policy,” he concluded.
Former Interior Minister and estranged Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nisar said no compromise could be made on Pakistan’s integrity. “If you keep on scaring, the opponent will make the most out of it, he added.
Sharing his opinion during his address in the National Assembly on foreign policy, Nisar demanded: “We must conduct audit of US aid given to Pakistan in last ten years.”
The ex-interior minister said US’s policy in Afghanistan didn’t fail due to Pakistan, but because of its own reasons.
About allegations of US President Donald Trump, he said the accusations should be taken very seriously.
He said the Parliament’s role was not just confined to making speeches, rather its function is to lead and guide masses.
Earlier, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed also addressed the assembly. He said the whole nation and all the political parties are united to safeguard the nation’s interests.
“Pakistan is a strong and courageous nation and Pakistanis know well how to defend their motherland,” he added while suggesting the government to initiate backdoor diplomacy with the US.
Another PTI leader Shireen Mazari addressing the assembly rejected the US allegations while asserting that the Europe and US are providing safe havens to extremist elements in their territories.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also briefly addressed the session and said that the foreign policy should be reviewed keeping in view national interests and the changing geopolitical situation.
Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah proposed calling a joint session of the parliament after Eid so a ‘strong’ response could be given to the US policy.
Terming US President Donald Trump’s new policy of high significance, Shah blamed the country’s foreign policy ‘failure’ over the past four years on the government’s decision to not have a dedicated separate foreign minister.
“Our foreign minister should have started today’s debate in the assembly,” he argued.
Shah also criticised Pakistan’s poor relations with most of its neighbours, saying “our neighbours hurl threats at us”.