- Foreign affairs committee directs foreign secretary to brief on govt’s new US policy
ISLAMABAD: The Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Foreign Affairs on Thursday slammed Foreign Affairs Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif for suggesting that the country must put [its] house in order while being interviewed during his trip to the United States for the UN General Assembly.
The committee members were of the view that the minister’s statement ‘mocked’ the sacrifices made by the security forces in its fight against terrorism and also supported the new US policy on South Asia and its demand for Islamabad to do more. The committee wondered whose ‘interests’ the foreign minister was protecting.
They demanded that Khawaja Asif be summoned in the next meeting to explain his statements. MNA Shireen Mazari reiterated stance of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Khawaja Asif’s statements, saying that if the foreign minister kept on giving such statements then Pakistan would not need an ‘external enemy.’
The committee directed the foreign affairs secretary to brief the committee on the government’s new policy regarding the US. In other developments, former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar was appointed as chairman of the committee. His name was proposed by MNA Aftab Sherpao and approved by the rest of the committee members.
The new chairman was elected unanimously by all committee members who were present representing different parties, including Dr Farooq Sattar, Dr Shireen Mazari, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Mian Najeebuddin Awaisi, Salman Haneef and Muhammad Khan Dahar. In his opening remarks, Khusro Bakhtiar expressed his gratitude to all the members for electing him.
He also appreciated the active role of Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, the former chairman. The committee also condemned recent ceasefire violations by India along the Line of Control. The committee said that the Indian Army was targeting innocent civilians, which was a violation of international law.
The members also paid tribute to the soldiers and officers who were martyred defending the country. The condemned the anti-Pakistan banners that emerged in Switzerland earlier this month and declared that the posters were an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan.