Senators have demanded that Pakistan raise the Abbottabad operation issue at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), complaining that the US has breached its sovereignty.
“Washington ordered the attack on Osama bin Laden’s compound without taking Islamabad into confidence,” Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Lashkari Raisani said in Tuesday’s session.
Speaking on a motion moved by opposition lawmakers on a statement by Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, Raisani said that the whole Bin Laden episode was merely a “pre-planned drama” by US forces to quit Afghanistan. In a policy statement, Awan had told the Senate that on May 2, US forces had acted unilaterally. “American and Nato forces are violating international law as they continue drone strikes on Pakistani territory in spite of cooperation from Islamabad,” he said, hoping that the parliament in its joint session on Friday deliberates on preparing a resolution for the UNSC.
The idea was supported by Jamaat-e-Islami’s Professor Muhammad Ibrahim and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Tariq Azeem Khan, who called the operation a “fake encounter” staged by the US government as presidential elections were around the corner. They also criticised the remarks of Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani on the operation.
Senate Chairperson Farooq H Naek asked the interior minister to clarify his position on the issue. Malik said that he had himself telephoned Deputy Inspector-General of Police Naeem when the operation was being conducted and directed him to look into the matter immediately.
PML-Q Senator Semeen Yousuf Siddiqui said that Prime Minister Gilani should have postponed his visit to France and given a policy statement on the Abbottabad incident.
Senator Haroon Khan said that for the past nine days, various questions were begging for answers but the government has not been able to explain its position. He also criticised the different statements given by the army chief, the Pakistan Air Force and the Foreign Office.
The debate on the statement will continue on Wednesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2011.