Staff Reporter Islamabad
Former Interior Minister, Chairman Institute of Research and Reforms (IRR) Senator A. Rehman Malik has strongly reacted to Pakistan’s inclusion in the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) list by the United States.
Terming it an arm-twisting technique to put pressure on Pakistan, he said that it was shocking to see yet another allegation against Pakistan.
It looks clear that the USA government response is signaling some more negative policies towards Pakistan, he expressed.
He urged the US to review the baseless allegations and remove Pakistan’s name from the CSPA list.
Former Interior Minister said that no Pakistani can join any civil or defence services unless one attains the age of 18 and any citizen of Pakistan applying for recruitment in Pakistan Armed Forces must have a Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) which by law and the NADRA Act cannot be issued unless one is 18 year and above.
He said “I failed to understand that even though our law is very stringent, how come without examining our law being a sovereign state, US has thought to apply the US’ Child Soldiers Protection Act (CSPA) on Pakistan adding which international law permits to slap such fabricated tales against another sovereign state.
He said that US has added Pakistan to CSPA list without any consultation with any institution of Pakistan and no details were provided of the basis on which the conclusion was reached.
He expressed that United States at least should have taken the views of the Pakistan Government before pushing us into CSPA.
He said that the inclusion of Pakistan in the list means that it wouldn’t be able to further get licenses for direct commercial sales of military equipment, cannot be a part of several US programmes, including international military education and training, foreign military financing, excess defence articles, and peacekeeping operations.
It means the process of imposing restrictions on Pakistan is already in action. Rehman Malik said that it is unfortunate that despite our best cooperation with the USA it has entirely forgotten the role of Pakistan in the war on terror wherein we have sacrificed 70,000 people and lost $150 billion in this war.
He said that it seems that the USA wants something in Pakistan and perhaps it is yet an arm-twisting technique to put pressure on Pakistan and apparently it is connected to the Afghan issue.
He said that let me assure the US administration that we neither have any 14-year-old child as army personnel nor our law permits anybody under-aged employment in Pak Army.