SWABI, April 14: Jamaat-i-Islami’s former amir Qazi Hussain Ahmed has said that the announcement by the American officials to continue drone attacks is a slap in the face for Pakistani rulers and the policymakers should learn from past mistakes.
Talking to this correspondent here late Friday, he rejected the parliament’s recommendations for resumption of Nato supplies via Pakistan to the US-led forces in Afghanistan and said that the people would not accept an appeasement policy towards the US.
Mr Ahmed said that the best option for the government was to reconsider its policies and give up cooperating with the US in the so-called fight against terrorism.
“The ‘war on terror’ is not in Pakistan's interests. We have said this from the day Pakistan started toeing the American policy line in the region,” he said. He questioned why millions of people were displaced as a result of military operations in tribal areas and compelled to take shelter in camps and pass through a shameful period of their life.
Mr Ahmed and other leaders of his party had said on numerous occasions before the parliament’s decision that the JI workers would block the Nato-supply routes if the government moved to reopen it.
“The attack on Salala checkpost in which 26 of our gallant jawans lost their lives in November last year had brought disgrace for the entire nation,” the JI leader said and asked why the unprovoked attack of the US-led forces was backed by the Nato commanders and no action taken against the forces involved in the incident.
Answering a question, the JI leader said that innocent people were being killed in the US drone attacks in total violation of international laws. He said that the government should give up double standard and clearly tell the Americans for an immediate stoppage of drone strikes in the tribal belt.
About ‘war on terror’, he said that the American policymakers tactfully dragged Pakistan into this useless war.
“We have suffered economic losses of about $70 billion, while over 40,000 innocent people were killed in this ‘war on terror’. Despite this our rulers keep on saying that it is our war and they would continue it. This is an appeasement policy, which is not acceptable to us,” he said.
He said that the tribal people who rendered sacrifices for Pakistan could scuttle the reopening of Nato supply line. "The JI would support them in their endeavours,” he said.
Mr Ahmed said that the US had betrayed Pakistan because sophisticated weapons were transported through Pakistani routes of Torkham and Chaman and the same arms had been used for killing innocent people, mostly Pakhtuns, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He urged the party workers to prepare for the next general elections because the rulers had failed on all fronts.