Disregarding US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement earlier this week that India should take the lead in Asia, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday said that Pakistan does not want a ‘Chaudhry’ (chieftain) in the region.
Speaking to the media at the PM Secretariat after attending a ceremony, Gilani said that Pakistan will not accept any country’s hegemony in the region. “We don’t want any Chaudhry (chieftain) in the region,” he remarked.
On July 20, Clinton argued that India needed to play a bolder leadership role in building security and prosperity in the region. “India’s leadership has the potential to positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific,” she said in Chennai.
Dr Fai’s arrest
As the United States expands the scope of investigation into the alleged links between Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai and the ISI by making more arrests, Pakistani authorities have been cautious in their reaction.
Even Prime Minister Gilani was careful in his comments on the issue.
“The matter is being investigated and let the facts come, we will see then,” he told a questioner.
Fai, 62, was arrested by FBI on Tuesday for ‘obtaining money from the ISI and using it to lobby for the Pakistani government in the US.
It is believed that US carried out these arrests at the behest of India which has hailed the move.
“Yes, his arrest was long overdue,” the Press Trust of India reported India’s Home Secretary R K Singh as saying on the sidelines of a regional security conference in the Bhutanese capital, Thimpu, on Saturday. “We had a fair degree of suspicion that the money he [Fai] used to get was given by the agencies in Pakistan,” Singh added.
Although Gilani lauded the services of Dr Fai for the Kashmir cause, he refrained to comment on the matter. “He is not a Pakistani citizen. He was a citizen of occupied Kashmir,” the PM remarked
(ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2011.