A calling attention notice has been submitted in the Senate asking the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs to explain the government position on “shift in policy on the civil war in Syria in the wake of the visit last week of foreign dignitary from a Middle Eastern country and its impact on Pakistan’s national security and relations with other countries in the region”. The Senate begins its session on Monday.
Through a calling attention notice, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar asked PM’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz to take the House into confidence on the matter as there seemed a sudden, unexplained and a major departure from the known and stated position of Pakistan on the issue.
Babar said that it was significant that after talks between the visiting dignitary and PM Nawaz Sharif, the two countries called for “the formation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers enabling it to take charge of the affairs of the country”, clearly meaning a ‘regime change’ in Syria which will have profound implications for Pakistan’s relations with countries of Middle East, particularly Iran. Until now, Islamabad refused to take sides and kept a delicate balance in its ties with Kingdom of Saudi Aarbia and Iran. That balance seems to have been upset, he said.
He said this shift in policy may drag Pakistan into uncharted waters without tangible gains that should best be avoided. He said that the warning by Iran’s interior minister to send troops into Pakistan to secure the release of kidnapped border guards could be seen as Iran’s discomfort over the shift in our policy.
Asking for a regime change in far off countries for internal disturbances could potentially land Pakistan, itself beset with myriad internal problems, in serious trouble; he said, adding that the government should explain the correct position.