ISLAMABAD: In a befitting response to US President Barack Obama’s, declaring instability in Pakistan will continue for decades, the Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday said that ‘we are pulling ourselves through our own weight and the US need not worry about us’.
Speaking on an adjournment motion by Senator Mushahid Hussain against Obama’s State of the Union address, Aziz categorically rejected Obama’s remarks that Pakistan could become a safe haven for terrorists and would continue to face instability for decades to come. In his last State of the Union address last week, Obama said “instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of central America, Africa and Asia”.
“Whatever Obama said about instability in Pakistan are his predictions and have nothing to do with ground realities…we’re determined to root out the menace of terrorism and will tell the US president that we proved his predictions wrong,” he maintained. Pakistan is taking a decisive action against terrorism and militancy and days to come will witness more stability here, he said, adding “we are committed to defeating militancy and had major successes in the fight to eliminate terrorism.”
Aziz said Afghanistan faced the issue of instability but Pakistan was putting in all efforts to bring peace and stability in its neighbouring nation, adding the ongoing military offensive Zarb-e-Azb has helped improve security situation as 90 percent operation has been completed.
The advisor said that after August 2013, the government has taken a number of decisive steps on the internal and external fronts to meet the security challenges. The operation Zarb-e-Azb in tribal areas and operation against criminals in Karachi, he added, have helped in improving the overall security situation in the country. On the external front, he said the country’s policy of non-interference in matters of other neighbouring countries has contributed to improve relations with Afghanistan and India.
A majority of the Senators said the statement of US President must be taken as a challenge. They said that whatever he had said in his speech “is a fact”, as Pakistan is passing through a critical juncture due to ongoing war on militancy and extremism.
Senator Hafiz Hamdullah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) said that whatever the US President had said, was nothing but truth, adding its sole purpose is to create instability in the world in order to maintain its supremacy.
“It’s only war and instability, through which the US may survive as a superpower of the world as it is afraid of Russia and China, which are situated in this region, and the sole purpose of pushing the countries into a war serves its interests,” he claimed.
Senator Farhatullah Babar said that state of Pakistan started destabilising when non-state actors were spread in the region. He questioned why non-state actors were still being supported secretly if the security of the country is so dear to us.
In an obvious reference to Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s claim that the government could not arrest Maulana Abdul Aziz, the radical preacher of the Red Mosque, due to lack of evidence, Babar said that instead of arresting the jihadist preacher, as many moderate Pakistanis would like, the authorities are simply making lame excuses.
“It’s a warning [to us] and whatever has been [in Obama’s speech] is true. Why we’ve failed to make any changes in seminary syllabus…what has been taught there since 80s, and I don’t know if the syllabus is still the same or there has been any changes,” he remarked, which forced chairman Senate Raza Rrabbani to say: “Syllabus is the same, [and] no change has been made”.
Senator Mushahid Hussain who had submitted the adjournment motion seemed a bit upset over the speech of US president, saying the US must acknowledge the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani military, its people, especially the operation Zarb-e-Azb and the National Action Plan (NAP).
But majority of senators criticised the policies of the past regimes especially those of General Ziaul Haq and General Pervez Musharraf. They warned that Pakistan must not repeat the past mistakes or else Barack Obama’s remarks that instability will continue for decades will become a reality.
BILLS The Senate passed eight bills unanimously during a private members’ day on Monday. The bills include the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit 2016; the Law Reforms(Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Code of Civil Procedure(Amendment) Bill 2016; the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Anti Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill 2016; the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2016.
MOTION The lawmakers in Senate called upon the government on Monday to establish more public-sectors hospitals in federal capital, besides improving the standard of the existing health facilities, which the senators said lacked the basic facilities due to negligence of people at the helm of affairs.
Chaudhry Tanveer said although the population of the capital has increased manifold, not a single hospital was built after 1985. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that Cuba, a country consisting of 10 million population, has the best healthcare system, which should be a model for us. The house was adjourned to meet again on Tuesday at 3pm.
Source: Business Recorder