ISLAMABAD: The All Parties Conference has reached consensus over a joint resolution which refutes all US allegations regarding the Haqqani network and sought a revisit of Pakistan’s policy towards the war on terror, deciding upon dialogue with the political arm of Haqqani and resolving to protect Pakistan’s sovereignty.
While it is expected that Federal Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan and the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani would be giving a statement, participants of the meeting revealed the resolutions as they exited PM house.
Awami Pakistan Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed revealed that as per the consensus reached between all political parties and the military leaders, they would revisit Pakistan’s national policy towards the War on Terror, with some participants calling for a return to the pre-9/11 status.
He said that the Jamaat-e-Islami had strong reservations over military action against the Haqqani network and this was taken into consideration. It was resolved that the government would take action against the Haqqani network but only on the decision of the Pakistani government, not at the behest of US.
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan said that a parliamentary committee would be formed which would oversee the implementation of the resolution. He also said that all parties agreed that of the two options available to tackle Haqqani network, there was consensus that military action was not the right way, but dialogue and negotiations were the way forward.
Imran Khan also revealed that the Haqqani network had at least three branches, including a militant branch. Khan said that the ISI chief, General Ahmed Shuja Pasha informed the conference that the ISI only maintained contacts with the political arm of Haqqani network.
Earlier the political leadership of Pakistan met for a marathon nine hours in Islamabad today (Thursday) for an all parties conference on the national security situation, which has been called in the wake of serious US allegations against Pakistan.
The outgoing top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, has accused Pakistan of exporting violent extremism to Afghanistan and called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
Addressing the conference, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said the APC was aimed at forging consensus on important national issues.
“American statements shocked us, and negate our sacrifices and successes in the ongoing war against terror,” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the APC.
“Pakistan cannot be pressurised to do more,” Gilani said. “Our doors are open for dialogue (with the international community),” he added.
The inaugural speech of Gilani was followed by the briefing of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. She apprised the participants of her meetings with US government officials during her visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session.
Khar said she assertively presented Pakistan’s case during her meetings and highlighted the immense sacrifices rendered by the nation in the war against terrorism.
The Director General ISI Ahmed Shuja Pasha briefed the meeting about the challenges the country was facing at the military front.
Pasha told the meeting to use ‘political, diplomatic and military channels to resolve issues’ between Washington and Islamabad, Reuters reported.
DG ISI said that Pakistan would not allow the situation to get to a “point of no return.”
Pasha, however, reiterated that “American attack on Pakistan in the name of (fighting) extremism is not acceptable.”
The briefings were followed by a question and answer session.
Express 24/7 correspondent Masror Hausen said Maulana Fazlur Rehman had left the press conference in a hurry. There were reports that Rehman had come to attend the APC despite being unwell.
In today’s meeting at the Prime Minister House, politicians will prepare a coordinated response to the latest allegations levelled by the United States against Pakistan.
Express 24/7 correspondent Sumera Khan earlier reported that a number of politicians had arrived and that a total of 58 political leaders are expected to attend the meeting.
Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Shujaat, Pakitan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali, chief of Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed and other political leaders are currently present at the PM House.
Speaking to the media, Imran Khan said that he was attending the conference because it was a national cause and that he would try to convince the leadership to “come out of a military option.”
Read the full text of the resolution here.