Military declines meeting UN team
Whatever, the underlying cause, the decision of the military, if persists, would reflect aspirations of people of Pakistan who are viewing the visit with skepticism and concern. The anguish of the people was also reflected by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security during its deliberations on Thursday when it took serious exception to the visit and decided to summon both Foreign and Interior Ministers to give briefing on the issue and respond to various questions including the one as to who allowed the visit and for what. The decision of the Army leadership is a step in the right direction and in line with its tradition of safeguarding and upholding the supreme national interests at all costs. But there are some fundamental questions pertaining to the visit of the UN team and as the debate goes on the authorities concerned should also answer those questions. Who and at what level a decision about inviting the delegation, as the Government claims, was taken? Whether all stakeholders were taken on-board and the decision was taken after going through different aspects of the issue? What actually was the mandate of the team? Reaction from different stakeholders show that the visit was unwelcome and this being so the question arises as to why the visit was not opposed before arrival of the team in Pakistan. Instead of making it an issue during the course of the visit, the most appropriate thing would have been to restrain those who had decided to allow the visit as it was known weeks before that such a permission has been given. We also hope that the Parliamentary Committee on National Security would make all aspects of the issue known after getting briefing from the concerned ministers.