Take parliament into confidence, Khokhar asks civil-military leadership

Term’s Pakistan's non-inclusion in UNSC meeting ‘diplomatic failure’


Our Corresondent August 09, 2021
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar. PHOTO: TWITTER/@Mustafa_PPP

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar on Sunday asked the country’s civil and military leadership to take parliament into confidence over “diplomatic failures”, the “strategic depth” policy and “behind-the-scenes support of the Afghan Taliban”.

The PPP senator termed Pakistan's non-inclusion in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Afghanistan a major diplomatic failure, suggesting that Pakistan was facing isolation for not making policies in parliament.

“Pakistan government claims to have vital stake in Afghan peace process, yet not being allowed to present its position in the Security Council is a major diplomatic failure of the current government,” Khokhar said.

“The ‘strategic depth’ and behind-the-scenes support of the Taliban have isolated Pakistan at the UN and amongst the comity of nations,” he added.

On Saturday, Pakistan expressed “deep regret” over the UNSC president’s decision not to invite it to a session on Afghanistan despite a request.

Read More: Civil, military huddle discusses national, regional security at ISI headquarters

The UNSC met on Friday to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and concluded the session with a joint call urging all parties, including the Taliban, to reduce violence and seek a political settlement.

Pakistan had also requested the UNSC chair – currently held by India’s permanent representative – to allow it to participate in the session in order to present its perspective on the Afghan situation but it was not accepted.

The senator slammed the federal government in his statement, saying “Today, Pakistan’s introduction to the world is that of a country which supports the Taliban and allies itself with a regressive force.”

“Policies framed behind closed doors have put Pakistan in a dangerous and isolated position,” he maintained, adding that the important UNSC meeting was held without Pakistan.

In addition, the PPP leader conjectured that the “word is that National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf's visit to the United States of America was also a failure.”

He said: “We should dread the eventuality of sanctions being imposed on Pakistan for supporting the Taliban,” questioning “have we forgotten the history of sanctions like Pressler Amendment” – banning most military and economic assistance to Pakistan.

“Gravity of the situation demands that the government and the military leadership take parliament into confidence giving them the true picture of the challenges that lie ahead,” Khokhar stated.

On July 1, the military leadership had informed selected members of parliament from both sides of the aisle in an in-camera session that Pakistan was ready to face any consequences but would not permit the US to establish any airbases on its soil.

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security was also informed that the US appeared to be deliberately leaving behind a “mismanaged and unstable” Afghanistan in order to undermine China, Pakistan and the region.

The next meeting of the committee had to be convened before Eid but it has not yet happened.

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