Farooq Naek calls for revisiting Afghan policy

Published December 16, 2022
Senator Farook H. Naek presides over a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday. — Photo courtesy Senate Twitter
Senator Farook H. Naek presides over a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday. — Photo courtesy Senate Twitter

ISLAMABAD: On a day when a cross-border attack from Afghanistan killed a civilian in Chaman on Thursday, Senator Farook H. Naek called for revisiting the strategy towards Afghanistan.

He was chairing a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs which was briefed on the recent ‘assassination’ attempt on the Pakistani head of mission in Kabul.

Senator Naek expressed serious reservations over the attack that took place earlier this month. The attack, targeting Head of Mission to Afghanistan Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani, left his guard critically wounded.

“We act as spokesperson of Afghanistan in the world against the wishes of the West, but on the contrary, the Afghan government often opposes Pakistan and raises guns against us which is very unfortunate,” he deplored, while emphasising the need to revisit the policy towards Afghanistan.

The number of skirmishes on the Afghan border was much higher than that on the eastern border with India, Senator Naek said while referring to the rising cross-border attacks from Afghanistan in KP and Balochistan.

During the briefing, Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed said peace and stability in Afghanistan were ‘indispensable’ for Pakistan.

Islamabad desired peace in Afghanistan as insurgency there directly impacted Pakistan, Mr Majeed added.

Giving details of the incident, he said the head of mission was walking in the embassy garden when he was attacked.

Around 100 bullet rounds were fired from a distance of 100 metres from the eighth floor of a building in the embassy’s vicinity.

“Thankfully, it was not a physical intrusion, and miraculously, the Pakistani [head of mission] remained safe,” the foreign secretary remarked.

He said according to the Afghan authorities, one suspect has been arrested and an investigation was underway.

The Afghan interim government has assured that the perpetrator will not be spared, Mr Majeed said, adding the responsibility was claimed by IS Khorasan.

The committee also took up the issues faced by the Pakistani community living in Rwanda.

The concerns were raised by representative of the community during a meeting with a delegation led by Senator Naek. He also talked about the enormous challenge of managing the border with Afghanistan.

The chairman expressed serious reservations over the harassment of expats living in Rwanda by FIA officials at airports while visiting Pakistan.

Senator Naek claimed Pakistanis travelling to Rwanda get a visa on arrival in the country, yet they were harassed by the FIA officials at airports.He also handed over written complaints received from the Pakistani high commissioner in Rwanda to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and foreign ministry officials and sought a written reply in the next meeting.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2022

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