Pakistan National Assembly Rejects US Policy For South Asia

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Anti-US protests have been held in different cities criticising Trump’s statement on Pakistan. — AFP

ISLAMABAD (IANS) — Pakistan’s National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution rejecting US President Donald Trump’s new policy for South Asia.

The Assembly passed a resolution rejecting the “hostile and threatening” statements made by Trump as well as by US top commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson on the presence of the Taliban in Quetta and Peshawar, Dawn online reported.

“The House denounces the complete disregard of Pakistan’s sacrifices by the US,” said Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif as he tabled the resolution against the new US policy during the Parliament session chaired by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

The resolution rejected Trump’s statement earlier this month that billions of dollars in aid were spent on Islamabad, stating that Pakistan’s economy had suffered a loss of more than $123 billion.

The Lower House also condemned Washington’s call for increased Indian involvement in Afghanistan due to “(India’s) known support to terrorists and destabilising policies in the region”, the daily reported.

The resolution stated that the call for an Indian role in Afghanistan’s development is “detrimental to regional stability” and added that it was premised on a “failure to understand existing ground realities and challenges in the region”.

Calling Trump’s statement “hostile and threatening”, the National Assembly urged the government to consider postponing any visits by US officials and vice versa as well as suspension of cooperation with US — particularly ground/air lines of communication through Pakistan.

It called on the government to draw up and inform the US and Afghan governments of a blueprint for the return of Afghan refugees to their home country in a dignified but specified time frame.

Moreover, the resolution advised the government to formulate economic policies to deal with any situation arising out of the absence of US assistance and commence a diplomatic initiative to inform the international community of repercussions on the region of the failed US Afghan policy, the report said.

Lawmakers also demanded the government to reiterate Pakistan’s determination to strengthen border control measures and demand cooperation and similar action from Afghanistan and international forces in Afghanistan.

Moreover, the resolution expressed concern over the increasing number of the Islamic State and other terrorist networks in Afghan provinces bordering Pakistan and called on Afghanistan, US and its allies to close borders to leaders of groups carrying out attacks in Pakistan.

Speaking earlier, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah proposed calling a joint session of Parliament after Eid so a “strong” response can be given to the US policy, Geo News reported.

He blamed the country’s foreign policy “failure” over the past four years on the government’s decision to not have a dedicated separate Foreign Minister.

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