ISLAMABAD: A few days after United States President Donald Trump announced a policy critical of Pakistan’s efforts, the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) formed a 10-member foreign relations committee (FRC) with Senator Sherry Rehman as its convener.

The committee, which was constituted by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, comprises Sherry Rehman, Saleem Mandviwala, Farhatullah Babar, Faisal Karim Kundi, Fauzia Habib, Matloob Inquilabi, Palwasha Khan, Hina Rabbani Khar, Imran Nadeem and Fateh Muhammed Hasni.

Talking to Dawn, Senator Babar said the committee’s formation was already being considered but its need was felt more desperately after the US president’s remarks.

He said the main objective of the committee was to devise policy in view of the changing [political] developments in the world concerning Pakistan and the South Asian region.

“One of the responsibilities of the committee is to find ways to improve important foreign policies of Pakistan, and forward the findings to the central leadership of the PPP to pursue the party’s stance accordingly,” he said.

He said the country required comprehensive and effective foreign policy, especially in light of the new US strategy on Afghanis­tan, adding that the committee could help give a befitting response to the US administration.

Senator Babar said his party demanded that the government immediately announce a policy statement on US President Donald Trump’s allegations that militants enjoyed ‘safe havens’ inside Pakistan.

The party was of the view that the government should take all political parties into confidence and formulate a unanimous strategy on how to deal with the situation arising after Mr Trump’s speech.

The PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) have already submitted separate adjournment motions to the National Assembly Secre­tariat, calling for a special session to decide a befitting response to the US administration.

On Thursday, similar resolutions were also submitted to the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies by the PPP and PTI, respectively.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2017