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Govt, Facing Harsh Criticism, Offers to Reshape Policy

As the opposition and the allies of the government severely criticised the official policy on the war on terror, PPP’s Mian Raza Rabbani offered during the in-camera session of parliament on Thursday that the government was ready to reshape its policy as per guidelines provided by parliament.

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October 17, 2008 (FPRC) -- As the opposition and the allies of the government severely criticised the official policy on the war on terror, PPP’s Mian Raza Rabbani offered during the in-camera session of parliament on Thursday that the government was ready to reshape its policy as per guidelines provided by parliament.

According to sources, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, despite severely criticising the government’s policy, offered to mediate between the government and Taliban. He asked the government to have direct dialogue with the Taliban, saying if President Hamid Karzai can have dialogue with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan too can do the same.

The sources said Maulana Fazl’s speech was also appreciated by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, who went to his seat and embraced him. The MPs began debate on the war on terror on Thursday, which lasted four hours. All the opposition parties and even the key allies of the government came hard on the government for what they called was the continuation of the policy adopted by the previous regime.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who kicked off the debate, asked the government to present details of all the agreements that were signed with the United States in the past with regard to the war on terror.

He said the serious threats could befall the integrity of Pakistan in case the country continued the policies of former president Pervez Musharraf. He asked the government to present its own policy on the war on terror before parliament.

Chaudhry Nisar made it clear that it was not Pakistan’s war but was imposed on us. “The people gave us a mandate for change but so far the same old policies were being pursued.” He asked the government to negotiate with the tribes rather than using force against them. He also urged the government to pay attention to the grievances of the heirs of the missing persons and those killed in the Lal Masjid operation.

He said so far the government has briefed parliament on the operational aspects without outlining its policy. However, Leader of the House in the Senate Mian Raza Rabbani, in his 90-minute speech, strongly defended the government policy and negated the assertion that the coalition government was pursuing Musharraf’s policies. “The government has devised its own policy and we do not own the policy of the previous regime,” sources quoted Raza Rabbani as saying.

Raza Rabbani also listed 10 points, which, he said, have emerged in the form of consensus during the in-camera session, adding, the government was ready to reshape its policies in the light of the guidelines provided by the MPs. He assured the House that the government would not compromise on the sovereignty of the country.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman in his speech asserted that the religious Madaris were not engaged in training youths for terrorism, adding, the conditions may further exacerbate if the use of force is not halted in the tribal areas.

He said the so-called war against terrorism is being waged in to please the West and the USA, urging the government to enter into direct negotiations with Taliban and formulate a new policy on Afghanistan.

Maulana Fazl wondered why a government, which could force Musharraf to resign, was unable to change his policies. The Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader and Opposition Leader in the Senate Kamil Ali Agha said the basis on which Musharraf was served charge sheet was still there and his policies were still being pursued. The in-camera session of parliament has been extended till next Thursday, enabling the government to evolve consensus on a joint resolution.

Send an email to Sajjad Haider of HiPakistan
877 327-7260



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