ISLAMABAD: Terming the country’s policy vis-à-vis the war on terror ‘unsustainable’, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called for a ‘review’ on Friday.
The strategy being pursued for the last ten years cannot safeguard the country’s interests, Khan stated at a press conference following heated exchanges between Pakistan and the United States over the past week on the Haqqani network.
(Read: US makes ‘all’ Pakistan assistance subject to action against Haqqani Network)
“The government should take the nation into confidence and immediately convene a parliament session to discuss a likely attack by the US,” Khan said, referring to the possibility of surgical strikes in North Waziristan by the US.
In addition, a national policy be evolved since the matter cannot be sorted out through mere explanations, he added.
“Our country is being destroyed due to this so-called alliance,” Khan said, adding that “we had imposed on ourselves somebody else’s war.”
In response to the outgoing Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s allegations that Haqqanis are a ‘veritable arm’ of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Khan said the American ambassador to Islamabad “should be summoned and strongest protest be lodged.”
(Read: Volley heats up - ISI targeted in bitter Mullen tirade)
He called Mullen’s statement bereft of “common sense” and said he was “surprised how an army official can give such a statement.” He asked rhetorically: “What benefit Pakistan can achieve from an attack on the US embassy in Kabul?”
“It is psychological warfare since the [US] have never given any evidence to the army or the ISI that we are fighting a proxy war,” he added.
He bemoaned the lack of reciprocity by the US in return for Pakistan’s cooperation in the war on terror in which, he said, “we have sacrificed 35,000 lives and have turned half of our country into a battleground.”
Being threatened by Americans is not only a cause of concern but a risk to our sovereignty, Khan said.
Along with issues of national security, Khan said the parliament should be taken into confidence on the country’s economy and the Karachi situation.
Due to massive depreciation of the rupee in the last six weeks, Pakistan’s foreign debts have increased by Rs120 billion, he said, adding that in order to overcome the deficit, the government is planning to print currency notes worth Rs300 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2011.
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