ISLAMABAD/Peshawar -  Leading opposition parties have asked the government to convene a joint session of the parliament to frame a strategy for dealing with the increasing hostile behaviour of the United States.

PPP’s opposition leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah asked the government to summon a joint session of the parliament to discuss the Pak-US tension.

Speaking to journalists in Islamabad on Tuesday, Shah said: “This is not the issue of an individual or a party. It’s the issue of national integrity and the whole nation is united. We should discuss Pak-US ties in the parliament and send a message that we are united.”

The PPP leader said Trump’s attitude was unfortunate and he had completely ignored Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war on terror.

“Pakistan has paid a big price for supporting the US in the Afghanistan war. Our losses are irreparable. We have bowed before the US and served their interests. But Washington is still asking us to do more,” he maintained.

Shah said Trump’s statement exposed Pakistan’s failed foreign policy.

“We did not even appoint a full-time foreign minister from 2013-2017. This shows the seriousness of the government towards foreign policy,” he added.

To a question, Shah said if some “national reconciliation order (NRO)” was being finalised in Saudi Arabia, “the courts here should be shut down.”

PTI Parliamentary leader Muhammad Azam Khan Swati made it clear to US that Pakistan was not Iraq or Syria and it should avoid given threats to Pakistan.

He said that 200 million people of Pakistan were fully united and standing on one platform. He demanded that joint session of the Parliament should be called early so that a combined strategy would be formulated in this regard.

Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan said that in the wake of President Trump’s recent statement, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi must convene a joint session of the Parliament and an All Parties Conference to evolve a strategy and review the prevailing situation.

Commenting over Donald Trump’s statement, the ANP chief said that since coming into power, the attitude of Donald Trump has been too much aggressive and hostile, which is neither in the US favour nor other counties of the World. “We, the followers of non-violence philosophy of Bacha Khan, condemn this aggressive approach by the US government, he said.

In the prevailing situation, the ANP chief asked the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to call an All Parties Conference as well as a joint session of the Parliament.

In the light of the outcome of the session and APC meeting, the government must evolve a strategy and take steps in the best interest of the country, he said, adding that it would be helpful in developing cordial relations with the neighbouring countries and also ensuring durable peace in the region, which is the demand of the day.

BILAWAL ASKS TRUMP TO CORRECT AID FIGURES

PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asked the US President Donald Trump to correct his figures regarding aid to Pakistan.

Responding to Trump’s  warning that aid to Pakistan could be cut, Bilawal tweeted: “Someone please explain to Donald Trump [the] difference between coalition support fund reimbursement for work done and US aid ostensibly given for humanitarian reasons, to win hearts and minds. Cutting off moneys owed, for assistance already rendered, does not encourage further cooperation.”

He added: “We will eradicate extremism because it’s in our interest not because of what @realDonaldTrump says. We will not allow the US to scapegoat Pakistan for its own failures in the region.”

On the first day of the year 2018, Trump said: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Pakistan reacted sharply saying Islamabad had already told Washington it would “no more” work on US dictations.

Bilawal said only his party had “experience in handling both the US and our own domestic terrorism issue. In our last government we launched Pakistan’s first, most extensive and most successful anti-terror operations. We also shut [the] Nato supplies and air bases until the US apologised for Salala [incident in which several Pakistani soldiers were killed].”

He said the US just wanted to “win” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the many quagmires they were involved with.

“No plan to get out. All they are left with is excuses, blame games and denial,” Bilawal contended.

He said Pakistan needed to articulate and implement a counter-violent extremism strategy “not because of what the US wants but because we need to succeed, to survive. We also have to come to terms with the fact, [the] US is no longer interested in defeating terrorism.”

Separately, PPP’s Senator Rehman Malik on Tuesday said negative statements by US officials could create a wedge between two countries and affect the war against terrorism.

He said Donald Trump seemed to be “highly misinformed” as the request for assistance in war against terrorism was made by the US to Pakistan.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf also demanded calling of joint session of Parliament to discuss the US President Donald Trump’s latest threats to Pakistan.

In a statement, Malik said that Pakistan had not deceived the US but “it is the US, which is not playing fair with Pakistan as no country has done and suffered more than Pakistan in [the] war on terror.”

The lawmaker said war on terror had destroyed “our peace, infrastructure and economy along with more than 75,000 casualties on both civilians and troops.”

Senator Malik said that US must remember that survival of Pakistan was never dependent on US aid as Pakistan had lost a total of $188 billion due to this war, while the US still owed Pakistan $155 billion in addition to the cost of blocking the commercial airspace.

He added that fair calculation indicated the US still owed to Pakistan, and Islamabad had the right to seek payment.

Senator Malik said if Trump continued to bash his friends no country in the world would trust US friendship.

He said despite “our numerous sacrifices in the war against terrorism, Trump is bashing us rather than being grateful.”