Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has taken exception to the Afghan president’s apparent cutting comments about Pakistan, and added that Pakistan would not compromise on its sovereignty at any cost.
He also hailed the success of the recently-held All Parties Conference – and said it was because of the unity on display there that the US had toned down its rhetoric.
“If [Afghan President] Hamid Karzai has any misunderstandings over security issues or other issues in Pakistan, he should talk to us – but we will not let him interfere in our internal affairs or the sovereignty of Pakistan,” Gilani said, addressing the Multan-Faisalabad highway inauguration ceremony on Saturday.
The premier added that if ‘people have been misguiding’ Karzai, blaming Pakistan was not the way to reach a solution. At the same time, he said, “We are ready to help him over security and intelligence issues and I will personally help him with whatever queries he has regarding these issues.” Grievances can only be repaired through negotiations and sharing information, he stated.
All Parties Conference
Speaking about the All Parties Conference (APC), PM Gilani revealed that it was his initiative to call such a meeting so that even those with minor representation had a participatory role. It was the APC that resulted in the US changing its stance and backing away from supporting Former Admiral Mullen’s statements, the premier said.
“We all are united in Pakistan and we have now conveyed this message to the world [through the APC]. We are grieved over the death of Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was a great friend of Pakistan”. But at the same time, he added, Pakistan will not compromise on its sovereignty and peace would be achieved on mutual terms.
Speaking of the need for consensus, the PM said, “All political parties are invited to dispel the grievances of other parties and communities of Pakistan. Some have earlier had differences with the military establishment and former president Pervez Musharraf and they had not participated in the previous elections.” Now, however, was the time to have a united Pakistan, he stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2011.