Sheikh has a point



INTERIOR Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has categorically stated that the French Ambassador cannot be expelled from Pakistan at the request of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

His remarks came in the backdrop of protests by TLP members for the release of party chief Saad Rizvi, as well as against ‘arrests’ of fellow party members.

The foreign policy of a country must reflect the aspirations of its people but it is also a foregone conclusion that the foreign relations cannot be conducted at the whims of pressure groups.

The Minister has rightly pointed out that expelling the French Ambassador could effectively mean severing ties with the European Union, which the country cannot afford.

There is, however, a big question mark as to why the Government entered into a vague agreement with the TLP, the implementation of which was not possible for the country.

Succumbing to the pressure tactics of the organization, the Government signed an accord with it undertaking to reach a consensus in Parliament regarding the expulsion of the French Ambassador within three months, non-appointment of its Ambassador to France, release of all the arrested workers of the TLP and that it would also not register any case against the TLP leaders or workers in connection with the matter.

Subsequent to this, another agreement was reached requiring the Government to present a resolution in Parliament on the subject before April 20 (this year) but the lawmakers were unable to amicably discuss the resolution on April 23 and the House (NA) was prorogued.

All this makes it quite obvious that window dressing is no solution to any problem and all problems should be thoroughly debated and sorted out in a serious manner.

No doubt, the Government should not allow anyone to take the law into one’s own hand or try to dictate the state but politics should not be done on sensitive issues.


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