US needs to rethink its policy on Pakistan: Qureshi


LAHORE – America should differentiate between a democratic government and a dictatorial government and should rethink its policy on Pakistan, former foreign minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) central leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi while talking to reporters on Thursday, adding that Pakistan has paid back much more than the US gave and the nation should take a stand.
He said that it was the time to show the confidence and realize that the US needs Pakistan also. He said that Pakistan was extending major support to America in its ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan and Pakistanis had suffered in all sectors because of it. He said the US should realize all these factors and should base the relationship on equality.
He categorically said the US’ demand asking for the transfer of the Raymond Davis case to International Court of Justice is not justified and America must show confidence in Pakistani courts. Addressing a dialogue organized by Council of National Affairs at Aiwan e Iqbal, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the matter of Raymond Davis was sub judice and one had to be careful while making any comments about it.
However, he said that the entire nation had developed a consensus over the issue of Davis and a message had been conveyed to US ‘loud and clear’. Unveiling the entire Raymond Davis episode, Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the gathering that when the sad incident of January 27 occurred in Lahore, he had directed the foreign secretary to go through entire law and brief him on it after which he reached the conclusion that the US claim of immunity were against the law.
Afterwards, Qureshi told that he had also briefed his party leadership over the issue and the government’s demand of more time was suprising. “When there is no ambiguity now, why are the facts not being produced before the court?” he asked. Shah Mehmood Qureshi went on to say that if Pakistan was expected to cooperate, others also needed to realize that cooperation was never one sided.
If the matter was about cooperation, why there wasn’t any cooperation from ‘them’ over the matter of Ibad ur Rehman, a bystander who lost his life in this tragic episode or for the widow who had committed suicide, he asked. He said trust deficit between US and Pakistan will continue to rise if this gap between the two nations is not bridged.
To a question about his ‘deviation’ from the PPP line, Qureshi said that Mr Asif Ali Zardari was his party’s co-chairman and he had confidence in him.