ISLAMABAD - The opposition parties Tuesday in the Senate rejected the policy statement of Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Foreign Policy saying it too weak to satisfy the House before staging a protest walkout.
The government also demanded of the Foreign Office to withdraw its statement about the involvement of international NGOs and UN bodies in a fake vaccination campaign as the cause of rising incidence of the disease.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from opposition benches severely criticized the policy statement of Sartaj and said the statement was unsatisfactory and tantamount to insulting the House in the wake of a number of issues confronting the country on foreign policy side.
They were not school students, Mian Raza Rabbani of PPPP remarked before the combined opposition including PPP, ANP and PML-Q and independent opposition MQM walked out from the Senate that led to the adjournment of the House till Wednesday.
Earlier, Sartaj , concluding a debate on a motion regarding foreign policy of the country with particular reference to the situation likely to emerge after elections in India and Afghanistan, said that the Foreign Office was looking into the elections being held in the neighbouring countries. He said that the government had made basic changes in the foreign policy of the country in a period of around 11 months, which was not too long with respect to foreign policy , and that would have far reaching effects on the country.
“First point of the new foreign policy is economic revival and economic diplomacy and trade not aid,” Aziz said. He said the second one was priority on security of the country and non-inference in the matters of other countries like Afghanistan.
He informed that the impression was wrong that the government was taking $32 billion loan from China as out of this total money, $8 billion would be taken through budget and the entire would come through investment.
Rabbani was of the view that the speech of advisor was not reflective of the situation of region arising out of the elections on India and Afghanistan and regarding the government’s narrative of dialogue and continued attack on security forces. He said that briefing of Foreign Office spokesperson was far better than the policy statement of the advisor.
Earlier, Aitzaz Ahsan in his speech said that the government should appoint full time minister of foreign affairs instead of appointing advisors and special assistants. “Can the government not find any one from both the house of Parliament a suitable person to be appointed as Foreign Minster,” he said. “Foreign policy of Nawaz government was naive and was devoid of energy,” he said.
He said the FO should carefully think before giving a statement against UN regarding fake polio vaccination campaign. “I will also issue a white paper against election rigging in a constituency,” he said adding that the government was taking loan of $32 billion from China and had taken total loan of $52 billion dollars only in 11 months.
Farhatullah Babar during zero hour demanded that the Foreign Office should withdraw its statement about the involvement of international NGOs and UN bodies in a fake vaccination campaign.
He said that the statement by the FO spokesperson was a thoughtless endorsement of a questionable narrative that Osama Bin Ladin (OBL) was tracked down in Abbottabad through a fake polio campaign.
Sartaj said that the statement was given because Dr Afridi had launched a fake vaccination campaign to trace OBL and the people did not want to get vaccinated as a result of this incident. He said this was the reason behind the increasing number of polio cases as 60 to 65 cases we reported only in Waziristan.
Ilyas Balour of ANP highly objected to the remarks of Ports and Shipping Minister Kamran Michael against former railways minister Ghulam Balour and said the government should send cases to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) if it had reservations over Bilour’s performance.
Moula Bakhsh Chandio of PPP alleged that State Minister of Water and Power Abid Sher Ali was insulting smaller provinces by giving statements and the government should give him a shut up call. He said his area Hyder Abad in Sindh was facing acute water shortage because of Abid Sher Ali’s directions.
Tahir Hussain Mashhadi objected the other day’s remarks of other Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan against MQM and his chief Altaf Hussain and asked the chair to expunge these remarks from the official record.