Thursday June 13, 2024

Humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan: Senate discusses serious threats to country’s national security

By Mumtaz Alvi
February 08, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Expressing grave concern over the impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, legislators across the Senate Monday shared worries that it would pose serious threats to Pakistan’s national security.

It was a private members day and the senators, while speaking on a motion, moved by JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad, on the rapidly developing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan's role to avert it, strongly advocated urgent measures to help lessen sufferings of the Afghan people, particularly women and children.

Lawmakers wanted to know the implementation status of the decisions taken and pledges made at the special OIC summit in Islamabad a few weeks back on Afghanistan from the humanitarian point of view.

Ex-chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani of PPP pointed out that Pakistan would be affected the most by a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and it would have an impact on the country’s national security and blamed the imperialist powers and the OIC for the present alarming situation in that country.

On the implementation over the decisions taken at a recently held conference of OIC, Rabbani maintained that he would not hold the government responsible, as the OIC had a history of paying mere lip service to all issues facing the Islamic countries and noted the forum continued to play the role of a silent spectator on Kashmir problem and the worst human right abuses there by the Indian regime.

He contended the Muslim Ummah should have taken a joint position on the blatant human rights violations involving systematic genocide of Muslims in the Occupied Kashmir but they were rather supporting Washington-New Delhi- Tel Aviv nexus. He then also referred to the commitments made by the Taliban regime that terrorism will not be exported to Pakistan from their soil, and raised questions over the talks held with TTP without taking the Parliament into confidence.

Rabbani said the so-called ceasefire reached with the TTP had repeatedly been violated by the other side, resulting in loss of precious lives of military personnel and other security forces. He recalled interior minister at a recent press conference acknowledged the role of TTP in collusion of militants in Balochistan, but in the same breath indicated the government was ready for talks with the organisation promoting terrorism in the country. He wondered on what basis the talks had been initiated with the banned outfit.

He emphasised that ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs should have been in the House during the important discussion and respond to the points being raised here. He warned the fresh wave of terrorism was the part of a great game and India was directly involved in it. He said other component of the conspiracy against Pakistan was desire of the US to make India a regional policeman and the IMF conditionalities.

Rabbani then asked who the hell is the IMF to tell Pakistan to comply with the FATF requirements?”. PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate Senator Sherry Rehman said pointed out that what is shocking is that the Interior Ministry claims that the TTP were responsible for these attacks, yet it is the government who at different levels kept wanting to negotiate with the TTP – a terrorist entity that has openly announced ‘Jihad’ against the country. The same terrorist group that the government was open to giving amnesty to.

Why have there been no meetings of the committee of the whole for this urgent and ever-developing crisis across our very own border? If we want to be taken seriously, as a truly sovereign nation, then Pakistan needs to publicly hold all that undermines our borders accountable”. Now, Pakistan must hold the Afghan Taliban accountable for this uptick of terror activity we are seeing, today.”.

She said contrary to the Indian Army Chief’s statements, the record should be set straight and noted, “the ceasefire agreement at the Line of Control between Pakistan and India was negotiated, not by India from a position of strength but because China was at their border. But their false narrative of coming from a position of strength statement must be condemned. Only the ISPR responded to this. Why did the government not respond to this statement? It is certainly the need of the hour”.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed wondered how the matter of a terrorist attack from across the border had been taken up with the Taliban and at what level.

Speaking on the occasion, Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem also defended holding of dialogue with TTP and said that talks had always been the option. The precondition, he explained with TTP, was that they should surrender and the dialogue would be within the ambit of the Constitution.

On the opposition remarks on the PM’s China visit and the success of it, he said that both the economic and strategic matters as well as CPEC had been further consolidated.

PMLN Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed noted that some traders were raising voices to welcome Modi and talking about trade. He said like clarity of policy on China, Pakistan needed to adopt a clear policy on India as well. He wanted Pakistan to boost trade relations with Afghanistan and even opening of border, developing special relationship with it. He proposed a consortium of Muslim NGOs to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. The House will now meet today (Tuesday) morning.