Karachi violence eclipses NA debate on terms with US


After a two-day delay due to severe resistance by opposition benches, the joint session of parliament on Wednesday finally initiated debate on recommendations of the national security committee vis-à-vis Pakistan’s terms of engagement with the US in the war on terror, but the recent wave of violence in Karachi eclipsed the debate.
Initiating the debate, Senator Osman Saifullah of the PPP said “we should refuse transit of any weapon from the country” and underlined the need for a relation with the US based on mutual respect.
He also stressed on a review of the government’s foreign policy, urging lessons should be learnt from experiments/practices of friends like Turkey and China. On the occasion, he also questioned the notion that if Turkey could work for American interests, why it couldn’t do the same for Pakistan.
Maulvi Asmatullah from a dissident faction of JUI-F said: “We should make it clear that we cannot sacrifice any more for the US. We cannot approve new terms of engagement with the US,” he added.
Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah from the PML-F said discussion over the foreign policy in parliament was historic occasion. “Relations with the US should be based on mutual respect,” he added.
Independent candidate Zafar Baig declared the PCNS agenda a continuity of Musharraf regime, which were being legalised. He said all damage sustained by Pakistan was due to imprudent policies of the federation itself, and stressed on dealing with America on an equality basis.
FATA MNA Zafar Baig Battani said, “Our foreign policy should be on principle of equality.” He said the US was not our enemy but we only want reformulating a foreign policy based on mutual respect and dignity.
He said the country has already suffered due to the wrong policies of a dictator, adding that in the last ten years, the so-called war on terror had claimed 40,000 lives and economic losses of more than $70 billion.