Pakistan’s National Assembly today unanimously passed a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s “hostile and threatening” statements against the country and opposing his move to provide more space to India in Afghanistan in the new Afghan and South Asia policy. The resolution passed by the lower house of Parliament also rejected the recent statement by Gen John Nicholson – the top US commander in Afghanistan – about alleged presence of Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan. “The National Assembly of Pakistan rejects the unacceptable targeting of Pakistan by President Trump in his statement on Afghanistan and South Asia,” read the resolution.
“NA also rejects claims of General Nicholson, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) commander in Afghanistan, regarding existence of Taliban shuras in Quetta and Peshawar.” Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif read the resolution in the House, denouncing the US policy to give a formal role to India in Afghanistan. “The House condemns attempts by the US administration to provide more space to India in Afghanistan and considers it a move highly detrimental to regional stability and complete failure to understand existing ground realities and emerging challenges in the region,” it said.
It also rejected Trump’s claim of giving Pakistan billions of dollars in aid and complete disregard to appreciate the sacrifices given by Pakistan. It said that Pakistan’s economy has suffered a loss of more than USD 123 billion while it lost more than 70,000 people in the war against terrorism. Asserting that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe, it said, “as a responsible nuclear weapons state, Pakistan has in place a robust and credible command and control system…” It termed Trump’s statement “hostile and threatening” and urged the Government to consider the postponement of diplomatic visits between Washington and Islamabad, suspension of cooperation with the US, specifically the provision of ground and air lines of communication through Pakistan and draw and inform the US of a blueprint for the dignified return of all Afghan refugees.
Separately, Senate or the upper house of Parliament unanimously adopted “Initial Response to the US President’s Afghan–South Asia Policy statement” report after two days of discussion including an in-camera deliberation. It called on the government to convey the concerns of Pakistan and its people to the US, and bound the foreign minister to present a fact sheet to Washington to make them aware of country’s contributions in the ‘war against terror’. Calling upon the government for a regional diplomatic initiative to coordinate its response, it said Pakistan should formulate its own South Asian policy that should be comprehensive as peace cannot be compartmentalised and segmented.
The report said that military escalation in Afghanistan will destabilise Pakistan and the region and would have negative consequences for Europe as well. The House urged Pakistan and Afghanistan to ensure that the territory of either state should not be used for terrorist activities against each other. Kabul was also urged to check hideouts and sanctuaries of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan operating freely in Afghanistan. It said that Pakistan should maintain its principled stance that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and should continue pursuing a politically negotiated settlement with the Afghan Government in the lead.