Senate defence body seeks parliament’s joint session on Afghan issue

Senator urges US and NATO to learn lessons from Afghanistan experience, says Pakistan's stance vindicated


Rizwan Shehzad   August 16, 2021
Taliban forces patrol a street in Herat, Afghanistan August 14, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

A day after Kabul fell to the Taliban, the Senate Defence Committee while asking the government to convene a joint session of parliament urged the United States and the NATO countries to learn lessons from the experience of Afghanistan.

While passing a resolution on Afghanistan, the committee chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, observed that Pakistan’s long-standing stance that there is no military solution to the situation in Afghanistan has been vindicated. He said the principle of “might is right” is unacceptable and contrary to international law and the United Nations (UN) Charter.

While asking to learn lessons, the committee urged the international community, particularly the United Nations, as well as the OIC, European Union and other international organisations to remain actively engaged in Afghanistan for the promotion of peace and reconciliation as well as the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

Given the rapidly changing scenario in Afghanistan and the region, the committee urged the government to take parliament into confidence through immediately convening a joint session to discuss the situation and propose a way forward so that Pakistan and Afghanistan can be partners in peace and progress.

“The government should take effective measures to prevent regional spoilers, like India, from taking advantage of the situation to the detriment of peace in the region and the security of Pakistan,” the statement quoted Sayed as saying.

Read High-level Afghan delegation arrives in Islamabad

In the resolution on Afghanistan, the committee took note of the evolving situation in the neighbouring country and expressed full solidarity and support to the people of Afghanistan in their quest for lasting peace.

“Peace, security and stability are inextricably intertwined between Pakistan and Afghanistan and no other country has higher stakes for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan,” the resolution read. As an "expression of Muslim brotherhood", it added, Pakistan continues to be a "model host", having hosted the largest number of refugees for the longest duration in history.

During the meeting, the committee outlined Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan and made them a part of the resolution. The resolution read that Pakistan’s interests are consistent and clear, adding that Pakistan has been supporting the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Afghanistan.

Secondly, it said, Pakistan has been promoting a peaceful political transition in Afghanistan through an inclusive broad-based consensus so that a new civil war can be prevented. Thirdly, it continued by stating that Pakistan maintains that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to destabilise any neighbouring country or used as a base for cross-border terrorism against Pakistan.

Referring to India’s role in Afghanistan, the committee noted that government-prepared dossier on “India State Terrorism” in November 2020 clearly stated that the Indian intelligence, RAW, has been operating 87 training camps against Pakistan, 66 on Afghan territory and 21 on Indian territory.

“The Senate Defence Committee urges the international community to take note of these facts,” the members said, adding Pakistan has been a peace facilitator and a source of regional stability and would continue to play its role.

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