National Security is beyond compromises

ADVISOR on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, in his usual frank manner, acknowledged publicly on Thursday that Pakistan-US relations were facing problems for the last three months. The issues, he mentioned in this regard, were Pakistan’s nuclear programme, repeated American allegations that Pakistan was supporting Haqqani network, release of criminal Shakeel Afridi, issue of F-16s and differences over tackling the Afghan problem.
Sartaj Aziz surely deserves credit for sharing the information on these issues with people of Pakistan and that too from the floor of the Parliament. His revelation that Pakistan firmly rejected American demands on its nuclear programme and categorical statement that there can’t be any compromise when it comes to issues of country’s security and sovereignty were reassuring for the nation as there is unanimity of views about national security and vital national interests. It is also good that from the upper House of the Parliament, where the opposition is in majority, a clear message has gone to all concerned about unity of the nation on critical issues as Senators belonging to all political parties were unanimous in their criticism of the United States for its policy of pressurizing Pakistan unduly every now and then. This also shows the Parliament is the right forum where such issues should be debated and policies framed on the basis of collective input. It is all the more regrettable that the United States describes Pakistan as strategic ally but it always resorts to arms twisting of the country on different issues and pretexts and has aligned itself more firmly with India to the strategic disadvantage of Pakistan. F-16s present no threat to India as conventional war between the two countries is ruled out by strategists and analysts for a host of reasons. Pakistan is being denied eight F-16s but Americans have entered into a defence and nuclear deal with India worth billions of dollars and its implementation would present security threats and challenges to Pakistan, forcing it to go for a matching response to bolster its security. The allegation or perception that Pakistan was supporting Haqqani network is absolutely absurd especially in the backdrop of on-going indiscriminate operation against all terrorist and militant groups in FATA and other parts of the country. We are sure that with the support of the masses and the Parliament, the government would continue to pursue a principled approach on all these issues and would never give an impression of compromise on any of them.

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