Country needs no foreign minister?

Appointment of a foreign minister is a non-issue as Pakistan’s Armed Forces are fully prepared to defend every inch of the motherland and giving a befitting response to Indian aggression on the Line of Control (LoC).

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said this on Friday while speaking on a motion moved by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid in the National Assembly regarding the situation arising out of the Indian aggression on the Line of Control.

“The appointment of a foreign minister is a non-issue…Zulfikar Ali Bhutto also kept an elected person during his government as an advisor for foreign affairs,” he said while responding to a demand of the opposition members, especially the PPP.

The minister said the India cannot afford the Kashmir movement to reach a logical conclusion as 12 to 13 separatist movements are already going on in different other areas of India.

He said the Indian government is also trying to divert attention of its citizens from indigenous issues like demagnetisation policy by resorting to firing on the LoC and killing innocent people in the Occupied Kashmir. “We don’t initiate aggression (on the LoC), but give a befitting response. We have an unwavering commitment to defend our motherland,” he said.

“India has been patronising terrorism in Pakistan directly and through Afghanistan and Iran…we have given all documentary evidence of Indian involvement in Pakistan to the international community including the United Nations,” he said.

The status of Pakistan will be elevated in the international community after completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, he said, adding the CPEC will attract other countries of the region too.

“Iran is already showing interest (in becoming part of the CPEC,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s influence in the international community will increase and its defence capability will also be strengthened.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz urged the political parties not to do point-scoring on the Kashmir issue; rather, it should be taken as a serious issue.

“We have written separate letters to foreign ministers of P5 countries to highlight Indian aggression on the Line of Control and killing of civilians in the Occupied Kashmir,” he said. Aziz accused India of heating up the Line of Control to divert attention of international community from the Kashmir issue.

The indigenous movement in Kashmir will help achieve freedom from India while Pakistan is willing to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiri brethren, he said.

Earlier speaking on the issue, PPP MNA Naveed Qamar urged the government to appoint a foreign minister so that the issue of Kashmir and Indian firing on the LoC could be effectively taken up at the international level. He said India is a growing market and economy, therefore a few mortars fired on this side of the border or the other side don’t matter for the international community.

Qamar said India has been striving to isolate Pakistan in the international community and the cancellation of the last Saarc summit is a stark example of it. MQM member Sheikh Salahuddin stressed the need for revisiting the foreign policy in the wake of worsening situation on the LoC due to Indian belligerence.

He suggested that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should take up the matter with Indian Prime Minister to defuse the situation.

Jamaat-e-Islami member Sahibzada Tariqullah appreciated General Raheel Sharif’s statement that India will be taught a lesson if it resorted to any aggression against Pakistan.

Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Shahida Rehmani, Tahira Aurangzeb, Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Mussarat Ahmedzeb, Riazul Haq, Malik Ibrar and others also spoke on the issue.

-Business Recorder