ISLAMABAD - The government on Wednesday informed the Senate that India has refused to help Pakistan in tracing its retired army officer Lt Col Muhammad Habib who had gone missing from Nepal in April this year.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid winding up a debate on the issue told the House, on behalf of foreign affairs minister, that the Indian government in June last informed the government of Pakistan that “it could not do anything about the incident as it happened in Nepal.” He said that Pakistan has sought Indian help in May.

Retired Lt Col Mohammad Habib was missing since April 6 from Lumbini, a Nepalese town near the Indian border soon after his arrival there. He had gone to Nepal for a job interview. “The cell number of UK that was used to contact the retired Pakistan army officer was fake and the website of the company who had offered him a job was being administered from India ,” the minister said.

He said that a Pakistani team had interviewed the people who had interacted with the former officer in Nepal but to no avail. It is clear that an Indian received him and his air tickets were also booked by an Indian national, the minister added.

Earlier after the officer had gone missing, Pakistani media had reported that he was allegedly kidnapped by India spy agency RAW.

Separately, during the debate on another motion, Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani stated: “Pakistan would not allow the United States to make India the new policeman of the region.” He made the remarks during a debate on a motion moved by PPP Senator Sehar Kamran regarding the situation arising out of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to US some months back and signing of a number of defence agreements with US such as purchase of drones and nuclear submarines.

PML-N Senate Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qayum said that in changing global scenario, US was doing all this to contain China which was fast emerging as a super power. He also said that India , Japan and Australia were being patronised and promoted as a front line states against Chinese expansionist designs as visualised by the US which is likely to challenge its hegemony.

PPP Senator Rehman Malik said that the special waiver to India by US was condemnable as Indian atrocities in held Kashmir were being ignored. “We fought the war against the menace of terrorism, but the US gave drone technology to India ,” he said.

Senator Javed Abbasi said that a country which once denied visa to Indian Prime Minister Modi over the massacre of dozens of Muslims in Gujarat state in 2002 was now extending its favours for him.  

Winding up the debate, Law Minister Zahid Hamid said that Pakistan had conveyed its concerns soon after the US struck defence deals with India .

He said that the government also called upon the US not to ignore the gross human rights violations by Indian occupation forces in held Kashmir. The Foreign Office in a statement had clearly said that joint stamen issued during the Indian premier’s visit failed to address key sources of tensions in the region.

We also made it clear that Kashmiri’s freedom struggle is totally an indigenous movement and linking it with terrorism is not acceptable, he maintained. He further said that Pakistan has strongly rebutted Indian’s claim of supporting terrorists.

Taking part on another debate on the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the lawmakers deplored the poor response by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as silence from Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance (IMA) against Terrorism, in wake of brutal killing of Rohingya Muslims.

Senator Hafzi Hamdullah said that OIC had become fully redundant, and same was the case with IMA, as it had yet to break the ice while Muslims are being brutally killed by a so-called Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. PML-N Senator Sardar Yaqoob Nasir called for abolishing the OIC.

Senator Mohsin Aziz asked the IMA to come into action or else they would be forced to believe that it was formed for some other purposes and had nothing to do whenever the Muslims are in trouble.

Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldi asked to seek China’s help to resolve the issue as it could use its influence over Myanmar. Jamat Islami Chief Senator Sirajul Haq also called upon the government to seek China’s help to resolve the issue on humanitarian grounds, using its influence on Myanmar.

JUI-F Legislator Senator Talha Mehmood, who has recently returned home after touring Rohingyan refugee camps in Bangladesh, said that the situation was far from worse. He said that the refugees were direly in need of relief good, but the Bangladesh government was creating hurdles in transporting relief goods from other countries especially from Pakistan.

Chairman Senate in his remarks said he was seeing more bloodshed in the wake of international emerging situation

Zahid Hamid winding up the debate said that the government had already given a demarche to Myanmar ambassador to Pakistan. Besides, the federal Cabinet has passed a resolution against Myanmar for Rohingya genocide, he added.  “The resolution also called upon the UN to take the lead, which it must under its mandate, in stopping immediately the genocide of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar,” he added.

The chairman Senate had to adjourn the house due to the lack of the quorum that was pointed out by Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F.