LAHORE - Speakers belonging to different backgrounds at a seminar here on Thursday called upon the government to break 'the begging bowl for relations with the US on the basis of dignity and equality, and recommended 'unilateral rejection of US aid under the Kerry Lugar Act. They said it should be made clear to the US that if it continues to push Pakistan against the wall and violates its sovereignty, no govt, political leadership or military establishment would support the US. It was highlighted that restoration of public confidence in the state institutions is highly important before bringing any paradigm shift in Pak-US relations. The speakers strongly advocated the need for setting up a National Security Council as the Defence Committee of Cabinet has failed to come up to the security challenges. The proposed NSC, the speakers said, would entrust policy-making to political leadership in coordination with professional experts and military establishment. The speakers urged the masses that at this crucial juncture they must stand behind the armed forces and other institutions to enable them to withstand domestic and international pressures. They called for the formation of an Independent National Commission to investigate into the recent security and intelligence lapses and fix responsibility, with recommendations for reforms in the system. Organised by the PINA, the seminar was presided over by former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri. Senator S.M. Zafar, former foreign minister Mr. Sartaj Aziz, ex-ambassador Javid Hussain, Mowahid Hussain Shah and Qayyum Nizami were among the speakers. Mr. Kasuri said the US has committed great blunders in its dealings with Pakistan in the past. He criticized CIA Chief Leon Panetta for his arrogant statement that US did not trust Pakistan in the Osama operation, which caused an irreparable damage to Pak-US relations. Former Ambassador Javid Hussain stated that the begging bowl and independent foreign policy do not go together. He said that Pakistans foreign policy is suffering from strategic exhaustion, since our foreign policy goals in the past were beyond the reach of our national power. He emphasized that there should be no difference between our declared policy on terrorism and the operational policy on ground.Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan could easily ignore US economic aid since it is not more than 10 percent of our annual budget. He said US aid with pre-conditions is not acceptable. The former Foreign Minister called for improved civil-military relations in view of the designs of our enemies to weaken Pak Army and ISI. Endorsing the proposal of National Security Council, he recalled that as Foreign Minister he was to present institutional framework of NSC before the cabinet for approval on 15th October 1999, but it could not see the light of the day due to military takeover. Mr. Mowahid Shah was of the opinion that the current political setup including the government and parliament were incapable of delivering any results in safeguarding national interests. He proposed convening of OIC Summit in Lahore like the one of 1974 to revitalize Muslim unity against state terrorism in Kashmir, Palestine and Chechnya as well as stopping the use of derogatory language against Islam by the West. Mr. Mowahid Shah advocated representation of 1.5 billion Muslims in international forums like UNSC and European Union. Mr. Altaf Hasan Qureshee, Secretary General PINA, in his opening address highlighted the grave security challenges facing the nation after the Osama operation and the PNS Mehran terrorist attack. Senator S.M. Zafar stated that we must restore the confidence of the nation which had been shattered due to the Abbottabad operation and PNS Mehran onslaught. He feared that US might approach United Nations Security Council for authorization of its attack on Pakistans nuclear assets if terrorists reach close to these installations.Mr. Qayyum Nizami likened the Pak-US relations to those between a landlord and his subjects. He recalled how the late President Ayub Khan had referred to the Americans as cheaters in his autobiography Friends Not Masters. He called for galvanizing the common people to safeguard national interests and undertake accountability of American stooges in the political, civil and military setups.