Abbottabad operation: Senators demand change in Pakistan’s foreign policy

PM’s visit to Paris criticised in upper house of parliament.


Zahid Gishkori May 05, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Senators demanded that the government redesign its foreign policy in reaction to Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan’s claim that neither the civilian leadership nor the military high command was aware of the US raid on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout, north of Islamabad.


Osama bin Laden is history, said Awan to an audience of incredulous senators. “Islamabad has officially stated that the US Navy Seals’ unilateral operation was unauthorised.” Senators observed that the whole nation went through an ordeal in the aftermath of the incident when it was revealed that the US kept the civil as well as military leadership of Pakistan in the dark while conducting a surgical strike to take out Osama bin Laden. Speaking on a point of order after the minister’s briefing, Senator Hasil Bizenjo from Balochistan suggested that the military leadership needs to ‘mend its anti-terror credentials.’

Initiating a debate on the US operation, Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Professor Khurshid Ahmed said, “The killing of al Qaeda’s founder may be a victory for Washington but it has left a big question mark for Pakistan.”  This incident has directly challenged our military leadership.”  President Asif Ali Zardari should summon a joint session of Parliament to discuss the issue, said Bizenjo. “It is amply clear after the statements issued by the US that it is building up a fake case against Pakistan.” A paradigm shift is needed to revamp the role of security agencies and the state’s security plan, he added.

Senators criticised Premier Gilani’s visit to France amidst speculations emanating from the West that Pakistan either failed to track the most wanted fugitive in a city hosting military garrisons or was perhaps complicit in providing him with a support network. Senator Tariq Azeem said that Premier Gilani should not visit Paris when the West is considering imposing sanctions on Pakistan after Bin Laden’s mysterious death within its borders. Senators belonging to the opposition voiced concern over the government’s apparently dual policy on war on terror while acknowledging that some elements were supporting terrorists in the country. At the same time, Pakistan handed over 40 top al Qaeda operatives tracked by its intelligence agencies to the US since 9/11.

Speaking on a point of order, Senator Zahid Khan questioned why Pakistani intelligence agencies had been sidelined in the operation by Navy Seals in Abbottabad. Senators Khalid Soomro and Haji Adeel observed that there was a lack of coordination between the civilian and military establishment on the issue. Deputy Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali, who was chairing the proceedings of the House in Farooq H Naek’s absence also endorsed their viewpoint. Earlier, Leader of the House Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari moved a motion to debate the issue since it did not figure on the agenda. The debate on Bin Laden’s death will continue on Thursday.

Walkout

A majority of senators staged a 20-minute walkout to protest the absence of the Federal Health Minister during the question hour.

National Defence University 2011 Bill

The Senate passed a bill on the National Defence University, Islamabad, tabled by Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar. The Second Quarterly Report of the State Bank’s Central Board of Directors on the state of Pakistan’s economy for 2010-11 was tabled in the House.



Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.







 

COMMENTS (11)

fahim sabir | 10 years ago | Reply the sovereignty of Pakistan was violated, US is subjected to be punished. No one is above the Law. we are living in civilized world. President and prim minister of Pakistan shell be thrown out and US Pak relation shell be ended till US pay the price of Violation. punishment is? leave the region and get the hell out of our land. otherwise we will fight till the last man in the land of Pakistan. we are not cowered God is with us and we will destroy US as Mosses destroyed Fero.
Nasir Awan | 10 years ago | Reply There is a great Question Mark on sorvenity of pakistan that our Security forces,agencies,politicians,establisment,berucrates and those concerned authorities fails.what were all they doing when us made all this operation in abbottabd isn't it a question mark.they should be answerable to the nation and these all political courupt leader should show them way to go home.i am only asking a question that what the Army Cheif was going at that time ? u always says and sho patriotism of or country pakistan where your patriotism was gone ? our heads are down on all this so sad time for us.May ALLAH beless our Country Pakistan.Pakistan Zindabad Pakistan Payendabad.
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