Pakistan’s Concerns in Afghanistan Must be acknowledged if US wants to Establish Long-Lasting Peace: Senator Sehar Kamran (TI)

Islamabad, 18th July 2017: Senator Sehar Kamran (TI) in the Senate of Pakistan today spoke on the recent statement made by Senator John McCain asking Pakistan to do more or else the US would change our behaviour towards Pakistan as a nation. She said the US Senator’s statement is an indication of a changing US strategy in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region in general and South Asia as a whole.
Senator Kamran stated that this week US President Donald Trump will meet his national security team this week to finalise his administration’s strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. She said this development doesn’t come as a surprise as previously, US Defence Secretary, James Mattis has talked about adopting a “regional approach” to end the Afghan conflict, and these statements by US officials in recent times have been seen and interpreted as putting pressure on Pakistan. As there has also been a talk of increasing drone strikes in Pakistan and of making economic assistance conditional on its performance in the war against terror, she added.
Senator Sehar Kamran said it is extremely unfortunate that there is no one to fight Pakistan’s case. She said the current government’s foreign policy is directionless. She opined that while the US was putting together a strategy for South Asia, our government was embroiled in saving itself and their family in the Panama case. She say that it is alarming that a bipartisan bill seeking to revoke Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO-ally (MNNA) was presented in the Congress ahead of Modi’s visit.
Senator Kamran stated that Pakistan will feel repercussions of that visit. She said Modi was able to get India the status of “major defense partner” which would certainly result into further sale of defense equipment and technology. She said Pakistan had time to suggest its point of view while the new US administration was formulating its new South Asia policy which it will unveil this week but we couldn’t avail the opportunity. She said Pakistan needs a strong, clean democratic government which can take a stand in international arena as we witnessed during the Salala incident in 2011. US will have to take Pakistan’s sensitivities regarding Indian presence in Afghanistan in account, if it wants to take a regional approach to a lasting peace.
While talking about the TORs of the Riyadh-based Military alliance Senator Kamran said that confusing statements are harming Pakistan relations with the brotherly country and undermining Pakistan. Govt must demonstrate clarity on its position.
She said on this issue her question is specific only to the NOC issued by Pakistan.
Senator Sehar Kamran asked if General Raheel has been given blank NOC that makes him a free man now and there is no restriction on him for taking any position or charge, or the NOC is specific to leading the Islamic Military Alliance only.
She said government has undermined Pakistan’s dignity and now just to talk to a brotherly country’s vice head of a brotherly country foreign office has to request through official letter.

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