Lawmakers lash out at Khawaja Asif over 'put our house in order' remark
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday slammed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif for suggesting that the country must "put [its] house in order" while being interviewed during his trip to the United States for the United Nations' General Assembly.
Members of the committee were of the view that Asif's statement mocked the sacrifices made by the army in its fight against terrorism and also supported the new US policy on South Asia and its demand for Islamabad to "do more".
Last month, US President Donald Trump had accused Pakistan of providing "safe havens" to terrorists, evoking a strong response from both the government and the opposition.
The committee wondered whose interests the foreign minister was protecting, and demanded that Asif be summoned in the next meeting to explain his statements.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's Shireen Mazari reiterated her party's stance on Asif's statements, saying that if the country's foreign minister kept on giving such statements, "Pakistan will not need an external enemy".
The committee also directed the foreign affairs secretary to brief the committee on the government's new policy regarding the US.
In other developments, Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar was appointed as chairman of the committee. His name was proposed by MNA Aftab Sherpao and approved by the rest of the committee members.
The NA standing committee also condemned recent ceasefire violations by India along the Line of Control. The committee said that the Indian army was targeting innocent civilians, which was a violation of international law. The members also paid tribute to the soldiers and officers who were martyred defending the country.
Members of the committee further condemned the "anti-Pakistan" banners that emerged in Switzerland earlier this month and declared that the posters were an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan.