Former envoy lobbying against Pakistan: Aziz

Published: June 22, 2016
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PM's senior aide ays FO has serious reservation over activities of ex-ambassador. PHOTO: AFP

PM's senior aide ays FO has serious reservation over activities of ex-ambassador. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: A former Pakistani ambassador in Washington has been lobbying against his own country and creating problems for the government in Islamabad, says foreign policy wizard. Though Sartaj Aziz didn’t name anyone, it was obvious that he was referring to Hussain Haqqani.

“He is trying to circumvent all our diplomatic efforts aimed at boosting bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States,” Aziz said. “The Foreign Office has serious reservations about his activities in the US.”

Indian PM’s visit to US: International lobby ‘active against Pakistan’

Aziz made the statement in the lower house of parliament after opposition MPs criticized the government over recent foreign policy fiascos. Aziz downplayed the opposition’s criticism, saying Pakistan had the lowest budget for the Foreign Office — Rs15 billion — while Turkey had a Rs82 billion budget and Iran Rs40 billion. “The Foreign Office budget has been increased by 14% over the last three years,” he said.

Foreign policy

According to Aziz, Pakistan was pursuing a ‘balanced policy’ based on non-interference and protection of national interests and nuclear assets and its sovereignty.

“Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi’s recent trip to Muslim countries should not be construed as a failure of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” he said. Pakistan enjoys historical relations with the Muslim world based on common religion, Aziz said. “Modi’s visit will not affect our ties.”

Aziz also said that Pakistan was ‘making successful efforts’ against India’s attempt to seek a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. About the new border management plan with Afghanistan, the de facto foreign minister said: “The war against terror cannot be won without effective border management.”

All is not bad

Aziz said criticism for criticism’s sake would not go down well as the CPEC, Central Asia-South Asia-1000 and besides Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline were the projects for regional connectivity. “Pakistan’s political role will enhance after becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.”

About Afghanistan, the foreign policy wizard said Pakistan was pursuing a ‘no-favourite policy’ and making efforts to restore peace in the war-ravaged country through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group.

Meanwhile, NA approved 19 demands for grants of four ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Food Security and Water and Power. The opposition had moved over 700 cut motions but they were rejected in a voice vote.

Foreign policy challenges confronting Pakistan

Opposition’s walkout

During discussion on interior ministry’s demands for grants the opposition staged a walkout in protest against the absence of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. PPP’s Aijaz Jakhrani and PTI’s Arif Alvi pointed out the minister’s absence saying, “It exposes the seriousness on the part of the minister that he cannot spare two hours in a year.”

“We will not become part of the proceedings unless the interior minister shows up in the house,” MQM’s Rashid Godil said before opposition MPs walked out.

Earlier, the opposition hit hard at the government over the issuance of a passport and a CNIC to Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor who was killed in a US drone strike last month. They also questioned the implementation of key points of the NAP, including Madrassa reforms.

Haqqani hits back 

Haqqani rejected Aziz’s claims and insisted he was entitled to having a different opinion about Pakistan’s interest.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2016.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Azzy
    Jun 22, 2016 - 8:52AM

    This ‘gentleman’ has always worked against the interests of Pakistan, even as an ambassador. He is without a doubt an Indian mole and since a long time there was a need to strip him of his Pakistan citizenship.
    It is high time he was declared a persona-non-grata and stripped of his right to call himself a Pakistani.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 22, 2016 - 9:02AM

    Yes, unlike our eastern neighbor, we have a tendency to disclose our dirty laundry if the opportunity suits, ie. Nawaz Sharif termed the Demolition Man by either Time Magazine or Newsweek (?) when he disclosed, contrary to the official position at the time and when he wasn’t in power, that Pakistan indeed possessed the A-bomb or the out-of-office Musharraf, when he admitted that his government did agree to site US drone bases in Pakistan… There are several other examples, so Haqqani is merely true to form and doing nothing new.Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Jun 22, 2016 - 9:38AM

    Is he the only one? Why do Altaf, Zardari and Nawaz prefer to stay abroad? Anybody please?Recommend

  • shafi
    Jun 22, 2016 - 9:58AM

    He repeatedly used to come on indian channel critizing pak.foriegn policy saying pak should never seek parity with india and asked pak to do friendship with india as pak is against of indopak friendship without solving kashmir, May i remind u Mr.haqqani that it was India who invaded kashmir in 1948 ,forcibly Annexed Jonagarh, hayderabad ,when India crossed International border two times, India occupied Kargil in 1971 ,siachin in 1984, and then occupied Chur batla sector in 1986 in Chakoti, Azad kashmir, ,can someone tell this man to give same lecture of frienship to Indian establishment ,RSS, Shive sena. Recommend

  • Basharat Malik
    Jun 22, 2016 - 10:01AM

    This ex ambassador of Pakistan has proved beyond doubt that he is playing in the hands of Indian lobby. No wonder he is so popular in India. Because of his anti Pak campaign for over two years PPP needs to disown him and Pak govt. may consider revoking his pak nationality. He is a shame for our country.Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Jun 22, 2016 - 10:25AM

    Hussain Haqani has shared his linen with PPP and PML N alike. Both parties have same problem. Rather its the problem of Pakistani Democracy and Political Parties that they have no capacity to run the state of Pakistan.Recommend

  • bash gul
    Jun 22, 2016 - 11:16AM

    Who is responsible for appointing such traitors in the foreign service? Even his wife was enjoying the perks of an MNA. Now it is revealed that most of the employees of the Foreign service have dual nationality. So you cannot expect loyalty from such diplomats. Ministers’ families hold foreign passports. How can a bureaucrat hold dual nationality? Pakistan should take note of this seriously. You cannot expect the present politicians and those in government to take any action since they all have their ill gotten wealth stashed abroad. So we are waiting one day we will switch on our TV and see someone saying MERE AZIZ HUMWATNO (My dear countrymen).Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 22, 2016 - 11:51AM

    @shafi:
    What’s new ? So have some of our prominent human rights advocates such as Asma Jehangir, etc. Its called freedom of speech.Recommend

  • Singh
    Jun 22, 2016 - 1:02PM

    Balanced foreign policy! Then what r u doing in Afghanistan, Mr. S. Aziz? Haqqani calls the things as he sees them.Recommend

  • Jun 22, 2016 - 2:52PM

    Well I have been very interested in US-Pak relations for last few years. Haqqani has been the dumb choice as Ambassador for Pakistan. Remember Memo Scandal?Recommend

  • santosh behura
    Jul 30, 2016 - 8:22AM

    Truth and Transparency are bitter pills for curing terrorism and self-deception. Those who have tasted these with apprehension find the same sweet, as sweet as Peace & Freedom.Recommend

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