‘Balanced approach to regional issues’
Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz has said that Pakistan maintains a balanced position on regional conflicts and fully supports Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity and protects the sanctity of Harmain Sharifain.
He said this while responding to a calling attention notice moved by Farhat Ullah Babar regarding statements of Saudi Authorities that the Islamic Military Alliance will not restrict only to terrorist organizations like ISIS Al-Qaeda but it will also take action against the rebel groups posing threat to any Member country, on the request of that country, as reported in media.
He said all members will themselves decide as to in which activity they want to participate. These activities include political consultation, intelligence sharing, capacity building, counter narrative, and military cooperation.
The Adviser said that it had been decided that programmes and mechanism of IMC will be decided during a meeting of the defence ministers of the member countries, which has not yet happened. He clarified that as and when terms of reference are finalized will be presented before the house prior to their ratification by the government.
Sartaj Aziz rejected the impression that any statement from Saudi Authorities can be the terms of reference. He said mandate of the IMC is to counter terrorism and any statement from a Saudi dignitary will not affect Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The Adviser made it clear that Pakistan will never deploy anything outside Saudi Arabia.
Responding to another calling attention notice moved by Sehar Kamran, Sartaj Aziz said that activities of India very close to Pakistan’s border in Afghanistan are a source of concern for Islamabad. He said India is continuing supporting subversive activities in Pakistan.
He said arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav and reported deaths of some Indians in the recent blast in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, which is very close to Pakistan’s border, clearly shows continuing Indian presence in the neighbouring country, which is orchestrating terrorist attacks in Pakistan. He said this state terrorism by India is condemnable and needs to end forthwith. He said Pakistan is cognizant of the nefarious designs of New Delhi and is actively taking complete action in this regard. He said Islamabad has effectively highlighted Indian interference in Pakistan at the international fora.
Sartaj Aziz said Indian atrocities in the Indian occupied Kashmir are continuing unabated and have intensified after the extra judicial killing of Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani. He said Pakistan strongly condemns Indian barbaric activities in Kashmir. He said Pakistan will continue its diplomatic, moral, and political support to the people of Kashmir in their just struggle for right to self-determination.
Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has said that all the power pylons collapsed in recent cyclone in Sindh has been energized to ensure smooth flow of electricity.
He was responding to points raised by some Senators. He said that WAPDA is ready to provide 650 MW of electricity to K-Electric, but the company has not yet upgraded its transmission lines to increase their capacity for accepting more power. He said WAPDA is not responsible for load-shedding in Karachi as the K-Electric did not run any oil-based power plan, which added to the miseries of the people.
Responding to another point, the Minister of State said the government has released 540 million rupees to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government to acquire land for the establishment of 220 KV Grid Station at Chakdara, but the provincial government took four years to do the job. He said now the work is in progress and will be completed at a fast pace to mitigate the sufferings of the people of Malakand area.
Reacting to a point, Abid Sher Ali said that 252 feeders in KP are loadshedding free and the federal government does not believe in any discrimination with any province. He said political leaders should not lead enraged mobs to destroy state installations. He said maintaining law and order and protecting WAPDA’s installations and properties are the sole responsibilities of the provincial government.
Resuming debate on budget, Siraj-ul-Haq said that the finance bill for next fiscal year does not offer any relief to common masses. He said the budget is formed on the dictation of the World Bank. He said the government is determined to overburden the next generations by taking more and more loans.—NNI