Na­tional Se­cu­rity is be­yond com­pro­mises

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

AD­VI­SOR on For­eign Af­fairs Sar­taj Aziz, in his usual frank man ner, ac­knowl­edged pub­licly on Thurs­day that Pak­istan-US rela tions were fac­ing prob­lems for the last three months. The is­sues, he men­tioned in this re­gard, were Pak­istan’s nu­clear pro­gramme, re­peated Amer­i­can al­le­ga­tions that Pak­istan was sup­port­ing Haqqani net­work, re­lease of crim­i­nal Sha­keel Afridi, is­sue of F-16s and dif­fer­ences over tack­ling the Afghan prob­lem.

Sar­taj Aziz surely de­serves credit for shar­ing the in­for­ma­tion on these is­sues with peo­ple of Pak­istan and that too from the floor of the Par­lia­ment. His rev­e­la­tion that Pak­istan firmly rejected Amer­i­can de­mands on its nu­clear pro­gramme and cat­e­gor­i­cal state­ment that there can’t be any com­pro­mise when it comes to is­sues of coun­try’s se­cu­rity and sovereignty were re­as­sur­ing for the na­tion as there is una­nim­ity of views about na­tional se­cu­rity and vi­tal na­tional in­ter­ests. It is also good that from the up­per House of the Par­lia­ment, where the op­po­si­tion is in ma­jor­ity, a clear mes­sage has gone to all con­cerned about unity of the na­tion on crit­i­cal is­sues as Sen­a­tors be­long­ing to all po­lit­i­cal par­ties were unan­i­mous in their crit­i­cism of the United States for its pol­icy of pres­sur­iz­ing Pak­istan un­duly every now and then. This also shows the Par­lia­ment is the right fo­rum where such is­sues should be de­bated and poli­cies framed on the ba­sis of col­lec­tive in­put. It is all the more re­gret­table that the United States de­scribes Pak­istan as strate­gic ally but it al­ways re­sorts to arms twist­ing of the coun­try on dif­fer­ent is­sues and pre­texts and has aligned it­self more firmly with In­dia to the strate­gic dis­ad­van­tage of Pak­istan. F-16s present no threat to In­dia as con­ven­tional war be­tween the two coun­tries is ruled out by strate­gists and an­a­lysts for a host of rea­sons. Pak­istan is be­ing de­nied eight F-16s but Amer­i­cans have en­tered into a de­fence and nu­clear deal with In­dia worth bil­lions of dol­lars and its im­ple­men­ta­tion would present se­cu­rity threats and chal­lenges to Pak­istan, forc­ing it to go for a match­ing re­sponse to bol­ster its se­cu­rity. The al­le­ga­tion or per­cep­tion that Pak­istan was sup­port­ing Haqqani net­work is ab­so­lutely ab­surd es­pe­cially in the back­drop of on-go­ing in­dis­crim­i­nate op­er­a­tion against all ter­ror­ist and mil­i­tant groups in FATA and other parts of the coun­try. We are sure that with the sup­port of the masses and the Par­lia­ment, the gov­ern­ment would con­tinue to pur­sue a prin­ci­pled ap­proach on all these is­sues and would never give an im­pres­sion of com­pro­mise on any of them.

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