Prime Minister’s advisor for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz downplayed the statement by Senator John McCain who chairs the US Senate Armed Services committee, warning Pakistan to be prepared to face a changed US attitude. He said, “Committee was part of the US legislature and not its executive branch. It is the executive that is currently undertaking policy review on Afghanistan and the region. We have already conveyed our assessment on Afghanistan to the new administration”. Mr. Sartaj Aziz admitted that during his recent visit to Pakistan Senator McCain had expressed concerns over Haqqani network and the presence of safe havens in Pakistan. He said Pakistan’s policy towards all militants and their networks was quite clear. He also said, “We will fight them wherever they are and will never tolerate their presence on our soil”. This was stated by advisor to Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs responding to the points raised by various members of Senate. He also told Senate “Riyadh based military alliance’s terms of reference had not yet been finalized”.
Mr. Sartaj Aziz is a veteran politician and has vast experience in diplomacy. We believe his words but its our duty to point out that from Islamabad to Washington perception is existed that in near future new US administration will pressurize Pakistan for “do more” and demand to release Dr. Shakil Afridi either Washington will create hurdles in the shape of imposing some bans and issue directives to world bank and IMF to tighten screws regarding Pakistan. By some of economists, in this scenario, if dollar rises up to 140rs, this will directly hit our economy which is not affordable as bailout package is our necessity. Mr. SartajAziz also knows economy and well aware of economic condition.
Lastly, we also like to mention that crises of Middle East are rising day by day and international forces are playing games in their own interests. So, its better for us to avoid to be the part of any irrelevant circumstances and focus on our own interests. It is called “diplomacy”. We believe State and government will have plane ‘B’ to counter upcoming situation.
It is likely in coming days US will reiterate its demand of ‘do more’, we should be vigilant with changing world politics.
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