Commanders’ firm resolve

AS behind the scene negotiations with the United States are continuing, military leadership has categorically declared that there would be no compromise on national interest while cooperating with other stakeholders for regional peace and stability. In a statement issued after Corps Commanders Conference on Wednesday, it also expressed firm commitment to consolidate gains of the successive counter-terrorism operations.
There are no two opinions that war against terrorism and extremism is in the interest of Pakistan’s own security, peace as this intolerant mindset is not only hindering national development but also a huge drain on national exchequer and that too at a time when the country is facing enormous financial problems. But it is also a fact that nations have to uphold their prestige, honour and integrity while dealing with issues and challenges as well as other members of the international community. Both civilian and military leaderships have consistently been reassuring people of Pakistan that there would be no compromise as far as fundamental national interests are concerned but scepticism was being expressed by some circles because of political, economic and financial vulnerabilities of the country. It was highly regrettable that at a time when the country was negotiating fresh terms of engagements with the United States, there is political instability and some circles are adding to the confusion further in pursuit of their vested interests. As against this, the United States is increasing pressure on Pakistan by withholding military and economic assistance to force the country to agree to its terms of engagements as we did in the past and are bearing the consequences. No doubt, the United States can create difficulties for Pakistan in many ways but in the final analysis Washington cannot succeed in Afghanistan without sincere and complete support and cooperation from Islamabad. Therefore, while welcoming resolve of the Corps Commanders, we would urge that an institutional mechanism should be evolved for approval of terms of cooperation and other agreements with foreign countries. In democratic countries, such accords are placed before Parliament for approval and this should be done in Pakistan also to guard against any vulnerability in such sensitive matters.

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