Today the Senate has unanimously adopted the “Initial Response to the U.S. President’s Afghan –South Asia Policy’ statement after two days of discussions in the House.
The initial response comprises of immediate steps and what is to be done by the Government. The ‘immediate response’ obligates the Government to convey the concerns of Pakistan and its people, by summoning the American Ambassador.
The American Ambassador will then be given a fact sheet by the Minister for Foreign Affairs about Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices in the ‘war against terror’ and the logistical facilities provided on the ground and in the air to US/NATO troops and their specific economic implications.
Another Fact Sheet on American assistance to Pakistan should also be immediately released, showing him the full picture.
The guidelines embedded in ‘What is to be done’ resolution by the Government include,
- Putting forth a clear national narrative of Pakistan;
- A regional and international diplomatic initiative to coordinate Pakistan’s response to the U.S. President’s Afghan strategy in consultation with the friendly countries, particularly in the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
- It should be highlighted at every forum that India cannot be the net security provider in the South Asian region given its conflictual relationship with all its neighbours;
- Military escalation in Afghanistan, as desired by the U.S, will destabilise Pakistan and the region and will have negative consequences for Europe as well, given the threat of extremism and terrorism;
- On Afghanistan, Pakistan should emphasize that the territory of no State can be used for causing terrorist activities in any other State and particularly refer to TTP hideouts and sanctuaries in Afghanistan which operate freely;
- Pakistan should maintain its principled stand that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan;
- Pakistan needs to present a clear dossier on India’s cross border terrorism with names, dates and unimpeachable evidence to focus on Indian actions to destabilize Pakistan, particularly using territory of Afghanistan;
- Pakistan needs to make out a clear case that militants like Moulvi Fazlullah and others hiding in Afghanistan operate against Pakistan. At the same time, similar allegations by Afghanistan, need to be looked more closely and such elements, if any, must be neutralised;
- There is need for a mutually acceptable verification mechanism to look into the allegations by both Pakistan and Afghanistan of cross border violation;
- Parliamentary diplomacy should be initiated on immediate basis, particularly lobbying with those US Senators and Congressmen who are critical of the U.S. President’s policy required;
- World Parliaments should be informed of the seriousness of the situation in the region and its implications if continued;
- Immediate meeting of Pakistan’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners posted abroad be called to take them on board and specific tasks, in view of the given situation, with respect to their respective Capitals be given;
- Likewise, Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Islamabad should be immediately called to the Foreign Office and Pakistan’s response should be conveyed to them.
The Senate of Pakistan has welcomed the formation of ‘Pak-Afghan Army Working Group’ to jointly work for eradication of terrorism in the region.
The Chairman Senate has directed the Foreign Office to send copies of this report to Pakistan’s missions abroad and the Ambassadors and High Commissioners of other countries posted in Pakistan and a progress/implementation report by the Government shall be submitted in the next session of Senate which is scheduled to commence from 11th September, 2017.
This matter will remain under review of the Senate, given its evolving nature, and the guidelines/response will further shape up in the wake of emerging situation and developments.