Parliamentary leaders unanimous on security

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No compromise on national dignity

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Parliamentary parties at an in-camera meeting of Parliamentary Committee on National Security Thursday demonstrated unity and unanimous stand on matters of national security, reaffirming the commitment that no compromise will be made on the national dignity while pursuing the policy of engagement with the US whose President and other administration officials recently have been seen incessantly emitting anti-Pakistani remarks.
The meeting was presided over by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and attended amongst others by leader of opposition in National Assembly Khurshid Shah, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Defense Minister Khurram Dastagir.
The meeting reviewed in detail the recent US tirade against Pakistan with the foreign minister took the parties into confidence on the country’s response to the scathing remarks emanating from Washington.
Giving details of the meeting, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said this is a sensitive issue but the important matter is that all the political parties are speaking in one voice and tone on the matter of national security. He said it has been decided that another meeting of the parliamentary committee on national security will soon be held, probably on 11th or 12th of this month, to chalk out a plan to counter any eventuality while keeping in view the emerging situation. He said military leadership and defense institutions will also be invited in the meeting.
Briefing the committee, the foreign minister said Trump is talking in the language of India, adding that Pakistan’s security forces have given tremendous sacrifices in the war against terrorism and that there will not be any compromise on our dignity. Asif said the US is making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failure in winning the war in Afghanistan.
Given the sensitivity of the matter, the sources said, the committee’s participants dismissed calls for summoning a joint session of parliament to discuss the issue.
Talking to the media on the sidelines of the meeting, Khurram Dastagir said when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and later, Defence Secretary James Mattis visited Pakistan, they presented their stance in accordance with diplomatic norms and the talks were not threatening and insulting.
“We need to have a holistic review of the entire situation following Trump’s tweet and other statements emanating from Washington. We are conducting a complete analysis and coolly formulating our response,” he said, adding that there should not be any doubts when it comes to the defence of Pakistan. “The question is will America create a situation which will harm Pakistan. We are ready for this but still want to engage the US,” he shared.

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