Pakistan to define parameters of cooperation with US

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The Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) decided on Thursday to begin an inter-agency process to clearly define the parameters of cooperation with the US in counter-terrorism “in accordance with Pakistan’s national interests and the aspirations of the people”, in a meeting that reaffirmed the determination of the government to safeguard national honour and interests at “all costs.”
Chairing the meeting held to assess, review and take decisions on all national security issues in the wake of United States forces’ covert operation in Abbottabad on May 2, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said it was imperative that all arms of the government, civil as well as military, worked together with full support from parliament and the people of Pakistan to the best of their ability to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and security and promote its interests.
“We must, collectively as a nation, close our ranks, have confidence in our collective strength and do all that is necessary and good not only for Pakistan but for promoting regional stability, security and peace,” said Gilani. The premier said the covert operation by US forces in Abbottabad had raised several serious questions, which were being debated internationally, specifically in the US and Pakistan.
The questions relating to Pakistan’s defence preparedness, he added, and the capability of the country’s intelligence agencies, its possible response to a repetition of such action, as well as legal and moral issues pertaining to sovereignty and propriety were not only being asked but were also a cause for anxiety and concern to the people of Pakistan, he said. Referring to his recent policy statements in the National Assembly and Senate, Gilani said that he had taken the nation into confidence on the government’s position and addressed some of the issues.
“I have also called for a joint session of parliament in-camera whereby the representatives of the people can have an opportunity to get answers to the questions that they may have,” he added. The prime minister said that there were two aspects that must be considered in depth while assessing the current situation: implications for national security, and implications for foreign policy. Besides public discourse, he added, it was certainly “my intention that the DCC evaluates in a comprehensive manner the situation arising from the Abbottabad operation and take such decisions as are necessary to augment national security.”
He said that a well-considered, cohesive and effective strategy must be worked out with an eye on the future. He stressed that the country should learn from the past and plan for the future. After in-depth discussions on national security and foreign policy, the DCC said in a statement that safeguarding Pakistan’s sovereignty and national security was a sacred duty, which would be ensured at all costs.
It also stated that Pakistan remained firmly committed to eliminating all forms and manifestations of terrorism, and reiterated the importance of international cooperation in this regard. The DCC condemned the US unilateral action in Abbottabad in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. The committee also stated that Pakistan was capable and “shall respond appropriately to any challenge to national security, with the full support of the people.” It reiterated Pakistan’s readiness to cooperate with the international community in promoting effective joint cooperation in countering terrorism. It said, however, that this cooperation “will be predicated on Pakistan’s security interest.”
The DCC also emphasised the paramount importance of respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty, the need for adopting a partnership approach based on mutual respect and mutual trust. “Unilateralism is strongly rejected,” it said. “In the external domain, Pakistan will continue to take all appropriate steps to promote regional stability, peace and security, broaden and deepen its engagement with regional states as well as with major powers,” it added.
The meeting was attended by Senior Minister for Defence Production Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Khalid Shamim Wynne, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Defence Secretary Lt Gen (r) Syed Athar Ali.

1 COMMENT

  1. There should be limitations on what we will do for America. Earlier US was paying for what they were doing to Pakistan. Now they are not even bothered to take our permission or even consent before invading. "Muft bari lagayi howi hai ab to".

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