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Published Date: Jan 10, 2018

Pakistan lacks policy guideline to respond to US

Senator Farhatullah Babar on Monday said Pakistan had survived in the past without the American aid so responding to the current diplomatic challenges was crucial for peace and stability in the region.
He was speaking at a seminar, ‘The implications of new low on the diplomatic front of Pak-US elations,’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Senator Babar said civilian input must be restructured at a greater level to deal with the present diplomatic crisis.
“After the tweet of President Trump, Pakistan waved an olive branch by taking action against some militant groups but unfortunately there was no policy guideline in place to respond to the situation in an organised manner,” said the PPP lawmaker.
However, he added: “Our house is surely not in order and we can observe a number of contradictions in the stance regarding the existence of sanctuaries of militants and terrorist groups within our geographic boundaries.”
At the same time said, “President Trump may be mad but there is also a method in his madness. Instead of responding angrily, Pakistan should give a calculated, measured and methodical response.”
He said the tendency to overplay the cards of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and thoughtless threats to send back Afghan refugees should be avoided.
Other speakers said cooperation between Pakistan and America for a stable Afghanistan and peace in the region was imperative.
Ayaz Wazir, a former diplomat, also stressed the need for looking inward besides reviving the diplomatic engagement with America.
He said to win the war in Afghanistan, America had to work with Pakistan whereas Islamabad had the opportunity to tailor its strategy according to its own national interest. He said both the countries could remain allies and work for a peaceful solution to the Afghan issue.
MNA Romina Khursheed Alam of the PML-N defended the policies of the government and said Pakistan was being maligned unfairly.
She said the Trump administration was turning a blind eye on the Indian state terrorism in held Kashmir which showed the double standard of the US administration.
Former army officers Assad Durrani and Amjad Shoaib said the US had no interest in restoring peace in Afghanistan whereas Pakistan was the only country to have an interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. They called upon Pakistan to look towards new regional players and form new alliances.