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March 10, 2018

We fought ‘made in America’ Jehad for US interests: Asif

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March 10, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, on Friday said that Pakistan fought ‘Made in America’ fake Jehad for the American interests, trained Jehadis and then committed the same blunder after 9/11. He regretted had Pakistan not surrendered before the United States after 9/11 in 2001, the war could not have entered the country.

Responding to points of order with regard to the deteriorating situation in Syria, the minister without naming the United States said they still wanted Pakistan to become their proxy state in Afghanistan. “But it is only Pakistan which has been refusing to become a proxy state of any superpower,” he said, adding Pakistan would safeguard its interests instead of serving the interests of any other country.

At the same time, he said Pakistan would not become a party to conflicts between the Muslim countries, assuring that the Pakistani troops would never cross the Saudi-Yemen border. He pointed out that the present government had temptations during the last four to five years to enter the Yemen war, but Pakistan stayed away from the conflict. He said that Pakistan always desired and prayed for end of differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the gulf created between the Saudis and Qatar. Asif said reality should be accepted that Pakistani rulers compromised national interests and sold out the country only to extend their own rule and fought war of America which later spread to other countries.

The minister viewed that he personally did not support the dictators in Arab countries, but at least the people were getting all the basic needs and there was peace before the start of conflict and the war in Syria, Iran and Libya. “This is a war only for the change of power and rule in these countries,” he said. Asif observed that Pakistan has been the target because it enjoyed the leadership role among Muslim countries.The minister pointed out that the United States is accusing Pakistan of supporting the Haqqani network, whereas 43 percent of Afghanistan’s land was in control of Taliban despite presence of the best armies of 16 countries, saying the production of opium also increased from 200 tonnes to 9,000 tonnes in presence of a super power there. “The Haqqani network will operate from the 43 percent area in control of Taliban and not from Pakistan,” he said. About the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world, the minister was of the view that “We know who brought Daesh to Afghanistan. It has not been eliminated, but has changed its address,” he said.

He agreed with suggestion of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Dr Shireen Mazari and Shaikh Salahuddin that the House should discuss situation in Syria. “The Parliament should discuss all the problems being faced by the Ummah,” he said. Khawaja Asif also mentioned that 0.7 million people have lost their lives in Syria during the ongoing war where a number of countries are involved, saying that Pakistan could not remain oblivious to what was happening there.

Responding to concerns of Maulana Fazlur Rehman regarding absence of Pakistan from voting at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s meeting against the killings in Syria, the minister said there is no justification behind the serious lapse. “I will take information from the concerned office and inform the House on Monday,” he said.

However, the JUI-F chief said it seemed that the Foreign Office is not aware of what happened at the Human Rights Council’s meeting. He said that three out of five Muslim member countries including Pakistan was absent for voting. He also talked about human rights violations in Indian Held Kashmir and the plight of Muslims in Myanmar. “We have raised voice for the rights of Kashmiris and the Muslims of Myanmar but the situation in Syria is worst and needs our attention,” he said. Shireen Mazari also supported the views of Fazlur Rehman that the National Assembly should pass a resolution in favour of Syria.

Meanwhile, in a written reply to a question, Khawaja Asif said the role of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)is crucial to ensure peace and tranquillity. He said Pakistan has always extended full cooperation to the UNMOGIP and Foreign Office had taken steps to highlight the gravity of the situation. The minister said that heavy weapons, including mortars, are being frequently used by the Indian forces, on the civilian population on the Pakistani side of the LoC and the Working Boundary, resulting in a number of casualties and damage to properties.

He said these are violations of the 2003 ceasefire arrangement and since the beginning of 2018, the Indian occupation forces carried out over 400 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary, resulting in martyrdom of 18 innocent Pakistani civilians and injuries to 68 to date.

Meanwhile, the PTI parliamentarian Shafqat Mahmood while speaking on a point of order raised objections over appointment of the new ambassador to the United States. He said that it is matter of concern that young person having no experience in diplomacy has been named as the ambassador to America at a time when the relations between the two countries are at sensitive stage of repair. "He might be an able person but has no experience of diplomacy," the PTI parliamentarian said.

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