NA passes resolution against US revised Afghanistan policy

 
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ISLAMABAD Aug 30(TNS): The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution against United States (US) revised policy and rejected US President Donald Trump’s accusation of harboring terrorists on Pakistani soul and prolonging Afghanistan’s insurgency.

The motion was moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid regarding the US President’s new strategy for South-Asia and Afghanistan and his remarks about Pakistan.

The resolution denounced US decision of taking India on board in connection with countering insurgents in Afghanistan while laying emphasis to support Kashmir’s struggle for autonomy.

“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 menace of terrorism while lauding efforts of Pakistan Armed Forces.

During the National Assembly session today, the legislators unanimously echoed their concerns over United States (US) new policy for the region during the National Assembly session.

Deploring the US president’s accusations of harboring 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 out rightly 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 Choudhary 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 favorite 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 neighboring 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.

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”.