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Pakistani Parliament Accuses Gates Of Anti-Pakistanism, Sign Of Mood Change In Islamabad


Pakistani Parliament Accuses Gates Of Anti-Pakistanism, Sign Of Mood Change In Islamabad

US defense secretary Robert Gates hinted at a possible unilateral military action inside Pakistan by US troops in Afghanistan.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The Parliamentary Committee on National Security on Tuesday took ‘strong exception’ to the anti-Pakistan statement of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and summoned Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to brief the committee on Islamabad’s position.

The move underscores the changing mood in Pakistan after the latest anti-Pakistan tirades in the United States. Pakistan has been the target of the worst demonization campaign since 2004. This campaign has almost exclusively been waged by US officials, think tanks and the media, with some of the negative coverage coming from pro-US politicians and media outlets in countries such as Britain.

The latest campaign was launched after a website leaked secret US intelligence documents. US officials immediately focused on Pakistan to divert international attention away from gory details of what appears to be possible US war crimes in Afghanistan. Almost in sync, the new British prime minister accused Pakistan of ‘exporting terror, during a visit to India.

The record of the past six years suggests that American and British officials often coordinate such attacks on Pakistan to force strategic concessions.

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security that met here Tuesday with its Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani in the chair termed the statement of US Defense Secretary as ‘anti-Pakistan’, saying that the committee would ‘not remain silent on this kind of assertion against Pakistan.’

In a second day session of the in-camera meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, the Addition Secretary Defense briefed the committee about the latest security situation of the country.

“The committee had taken a strict note of the statement of the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates regarding taking military action inside Pakistan and we had summoned the foreign minister today (Wednesday) to brief the committee on Pakistan’s stance on it,” said Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security Mian Raza Rabbani while talking to newsmen after in-camera session of the committee here Tuesday.

He said Pakistan is a sovereign state and this kind of statements is designed to challenge its sovereignty and security. “We cannot compromise on our national security, sovereignty and national pride,” he added.

Mr. Rabbani belongs to the ruling coalition, which is considered pro-US. His statement indicates the extent of pressure the ruling coalition is facing from the Pakistani public opinion on Pakistan’s worsening national security environment as a result of Washington’s failed war in Afghanistan.

Most Pakistanis believe the United States deceived Pakistan during the eight-year war in Afghanistan. Pakistanis believe the US paid lip service to the non-NATO ally while empowering anti-Pakistan forces in Afghanistan.

Despite a charm offensive by the Obama administration and the repeated visits to Islamabad by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Adm. Mullen and Richard Holbrooke, Washington continues to pressure the weak pro-US Pakistani government to give more strategic concessions to US and its puppet regime in Kabul and its Indian ally at the expense of Pakistan’s core strategic and national security interests in the region.

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