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MPs call for foreign policy safeguarding national interests

March 28, 2012

A National Assembly session in progress. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers at the joint sitting of the parliament on Wednesday called for a relationship with the United States, based on mutual respect and understanding, and keeping national interest supreme.

Discussing the recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) regarding future relationship with the US and Nato, the parliamentarians complained of the discriminatory attitude of the US with Pakistan and called upon the government to frame a foreign policy focused on safeguarding country's sovereignty and integrity.

Taking part in the discussion, Senator Usman Saifullah said Pakistan needs to decide what kind of future relations it wants with the United States. “Pakistan wants to be global player for which drafting foreign policy is necessary.”

He said, “We don't want animosity with any country but want relations of equality.”

Saifullah said if Russia, which was in cold war with the US, allows its territory for logistics, then what is wrong with Pakistan doing the same.

He said Pakistan should learn from the foreign policy of China and Turkey towards US for protecting and safeguarding their national interests.

He suggested that Pakistan should demand more market access and ending drone attacks on its territory, compensation for the damage to road infrastructure and refuse to allow the route for supplying weapons into Afghanistan.

MNA from FATA Zafar Baig Battani said, “Our foreign policy should be on principle of equality.”

He said US is not our enemy but we only want reformulating a foreign policy based on mutual respect and dignity.

He said the country has already suffered due to the wrong policies of a dictator, adding in the last ten years, the so-called war on terror has claimed 40,000 lives and economic losses of more than 70 billion dollars.

“Now is time to rectify our foreign policy as the country can not afford further adventurism,” he said.

Maulana Asmatullah said US attitude is not of a friend but in reality it wants to subjugate Pakistan. He stressed the need of change in policy for protecting sovereignty of the country.