PESHAWAR - Former ISI chief Lt. Gen (r) Hamid Gul has urged for an independent and sovereign foreign policy to tackle with the growing internal and external challenges.

The US and Western powers are still looking towards Islamabad as they cannot ignore Pakistan’s geo-strategic importance”, said Gen Hamid Gul, patron in-chief of Tehreek-e-Jawanan Pakistan (TJP), while addressing a news conference here at the Press Club Friday. He said Pakistan existed in a geographically and strategically important region, wherein, special armed force with attainment of nuclear capability is much instrumental to cope with any warfare condition. He also said the US was again stretching towards Pakistan, despite the growing influence of India in the region.

Other TJP office-bearers including Muhammad Abdul Gul, Irfan Ashraf, Dr Saddiqur Rehman and Liaqat Ali were also present of the occasion.

“We failed to judge difference between friends and foes,” Gul said while responding to a query about owning and disowning the current US-led war on terror in this region. He said that after the 9/11 attack, the country had been left with two options, meant to surrender or appeasement. So, the then leadership did opted appeasement and bent before the ‘do more strategy’, he alleged. If Tehran can defend itself and show courage to confront with the US and its allies, then why Islamabad cannot do the same, he questioned. Gul further said the nation is witnessing the fate of those who had backed the US in the ongoing so-called war on terror. He said that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf bowed before the US for the sake of power, regardless of the fate of over 180 million Pakistanis.

In reply to another query, Gul said that it was still only a dream to make Pakistan a sovereign and independent country. He highlighted the role of youth in tackling with the growing challenges confronting the country. He stressed the need for mobilisation and revolution to bring a change in the country. When reporters asked about the past restrained ties with the US and expectation for funds at that time from Washington, he responded Pakistan’s total foreign debts are about $70billion. He said that if 16 countries could refuse to pay their debts, so why Pakistan cannot refuse to disburse loan payments, being a nuclear country.

About the recent raid by Rangers at Nine-Zero in Karachi, he said that Nato ammunitions were recovered from Balochistan as well. He disclosed there were three political parties, having their militants’ wings. According to a CIA report, about 62 percent of Pakistan’s wealth is in Karachi, while around 50 percent revenue was generated from the port city.

Earlier, TJP Central Chairman Abdullah Gul highlighted the party’s objectives, and termed it as the only political force which didn’t want to become part of any political setup in the country. He said the party is aiming at to develop a pressure group only, and to make the country true-Islamic welfare state. He said peace is vital for prosperity and sustainable economic growth in the country.