Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Senate slams India for creating war hysteria

Senate slams India for creating war hysteria

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By Mumtaz Alvi

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Tuesday castigated India for staging a drama to implicate Pakistan in the Mumbai attacks without solid proofs, as the legislators displayed complete unanimity in their resolve to safeguard national integrity in case of any aggression from across the border.

Lawmakers from across the divide challenged New Delhi to come up with evidence, if any, of Pakistan or its citizens’ involvement in the last month’s incidents. Some saw the Indian war hysteria as a global conspiracy to disintegrate the country and a senator referred to a New York Times report in this context.

They emphasised the need for dispatching delegations to various world capitals to project the country’s stance on terrorism and its position in the post-terror scene that Pakistan was the biggest victim of terrorism.

Opposition senators decried the absence of both the foreign minister and the defence minister from the House at this critical juncture, when vital issues relating to the nation’s security in the wake of the India’s threats were being discussed.

The latest visit of Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, to Pakistan also echoed in the House, when Leader of the Opposition Kamil Ali Agha raised the issue on a point of order immediately after recitation from the Holy Qura’an.

Citing a report, he asked the government whether it was true that the US admiral was here to exert pressure on the government to let India hit targets inside Pakistan. “The US is behind India at a time, when we say, the entire nation is united on the issue of security, then how can the Americans put pressure on Pakistan,” he wondered.

The senator wondered as to why the US ambassador was not summoned and a protest lodged on this interference and why Mullen was not sent back.

Leader of the House Mian Raza Rabbani, who usually comes to the House well-prepared to explain the governmentís position on issues raised in the Senate, asserted that Pakistan was a sovereign country and would not tolerate interference in its internal affairs.

Responding to some points the senators raised during their speeches, Rabbani made it clear that India had provided no proofs, whereas Pakistan had offered to form a joint probe commission.However, he maintained that India was engaged in a unilateral blame game, adding, even if it provided evidence, the culprits would be tried inside Pakistan according to its own laws.

Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Abdur Rahim Mandokhail called upon the government to counter the challenges of extremism and militancy across Pakistan, especially in the tribal areas and in the NWFP, urging a realistic approach in this regard.

He said the country was facing serious challenges and making emotional statements at this stage was not advisable.“Today Pakistan is passing through a critical phase and there is no one in the entire world, including the United Nations, to support us. Even our neighbouring countries no more trust us,” he lamented.

The nationalist party lawmaker emphasised: “First of all we should bring our house in order and establish the writ of the government. Moreover, the issue of terrorism should be dealt with seriously as it is our own issue.”

The legislator spoke highly of the steps the government has taken after the Mumbai tragedy and said war was no solution to problems.Dr Muhammad Sa’ad of the Jamaat-e-Islami said no-go areas have surfaced from Mingora to Kalam, turning the once popular tourist paradise into bloody hell.

Referring to the regional instability, he said as long as allied forces are in Afghanistan, there are no chances of lasting peace in the region.Sami Siddiqui of the PML-Q said Pakistan had adopted a defensive line immediately after the Mumbai attacks. Quoting a report of the New York Times, she said: “The US wants to break Pakistan with the connivance of India.”

Pakistan should, she stressed, highlight Indian atrocities on minorities, adding, India and Israel were involved in the Mumbai attacks. She called for convening a joint session of parliament and adopting a resolution on the issue.

Another PML-Q Senator Wasim Sajjad noted that Pakistan was facing a grave crisis, which required seriousness. He pointed out that despite the passage of so many days, India had failed to give any solid evidence and instead immediately after the Mumbai attacks it started blame game.

He made it clear that neither India was the US nor Pakistan was Afghanistan and maintained the entire nation was united on the question of Pakistan’s security and defence.Wasim Sajjad said India needed to probe how a group of 10 persons sneaked into its territory and reached Mumbai on a boat from Karachi and fought with the country’s elite force for three days. From where, it got the logistic support after reaching Mumbai? And if the one Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani, why was not he disclosing the names and addresses of other nine accomplices?

He said the incidents were the reaction of suppressed minorities of India and those being subjected to the state terrorism in held Kashmir.Muhammad Azam Swati appreciated the performance of the government in handling the issue. He said calling sessions of both the Houses of parliament reflected seriousness of the government.

He said all the political and religious parties, including the opposition, were united and would not hesitate to give any sacrifices for the integrity and defence of Pakistan.

Swati believed that efforts were afoot to malign Pakistan, adding, the Mumbai attacks were a conspiracy against Pakistan hatched by a nexus of the US, India and Israel.

Raza M Raza of the Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party said Pakistan’s survival lay in launching a crackdown on the militants and their camps in different parts of Pakistan. “Even if India does not go to war with us, the entire world is against us for our role in the past,” he said.

Babar Ghauri of the MQM contended ìit was the failure of our foreign policy that Pakistan today stood alone in the world and the world opinion is against Pakistan despite the fact that India has not provided solid proofs about the Mumbai blasts to usî.

He said it was a major diplomatic failure that there was no one to present Pakistan’s case at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) when it recently passed a resolution.“What our government has done about the UNSC resolution on the issue of Kashmir? We should have linked the implementation of the resolution to the one on Kashmir,” he said.

He pointed out the banned outfit had its network from Karachi to Kashmir and there was wall-chalking all around about Jihad. “Are not they involved in training and brain-washing,” he asked. Referring to the security and law and order situation, Ghauri said that Swat did not share border with any other country, then how the militants had reached there and trained and acquired arms and ammunition in huge quantity?

Senators Fauzia Fakharzaman, Naeem Hussain Chattha, Kamran Murtaza and Kausar Firdous also spoke on the occasion.The House will now reassemble on Wednesday at 10am to resume the debate on national security.

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