ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has expressed shock and disappointment over Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement that PTI’s drone protest was isolating Pakistan.

In a statement, Khan reminded the PM that PML-N along with the PPP had not only been a party to the parliamentary resolutions (present and previous) against drones but also a party to the anti-drone resolution in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. In these resolutions, the blockade of NATO supplies was specifically mentioned. In addition, the PML-N convened the APC in which its government was given the mandate of commencing dialogue and ending drone strikes by the US in Pakistan. Khan pointed out when he had asked the PM in the APC what would happen if the US sabotaged the peace process with a drone attack, he was assured by the PM that his government would take up the issue not only with the US but would also go to the UN.

The PML-N government has so far neither taken up the issue forcefully with the US nor moved the UNSC under Chapter VII which is where binding action is decided against aggression. Unfortunately, Khan asserted, the PML-N is following the PPP’s habit of duplicity on drones and deceiving the people of Pakistan by covertly supporting the US drone attacks.

Zardari’s latest speech also revealed the ‘mukmuka’ between the PPP and PML-N as both seek to protect their particularistic interests, especially financial ones lying overseas. Khan pointed out that it is not “isolation” the PML-N and PPP are worried about but the security of their assets stashed abroad. Khan said that leaders who keep their assets overseas cannot be expected to safeguard the interests of their people and secure their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Khan stressed that PTI is committed to continuing its blockade of NATO supplies until the federal government gets a solid assurance from the US of an end to drone strikes. It is a matter of reasserting the nation’s sovereign dignity and self-respect, without which no other nation will respect us.

No nation is isolated because it asserts its right to its sovereignty, dignity and self-respect. A clear example of this is right in our neighbourhood where India asserted its sovereignty and became one of only three countries that opposed the passage of the CTBT resolution in the UNGA (Bhutan and Libya being the other two countries) in September 1996, yet no one said India was isolated. And now India is standing up against the US in a row over the treatment of an Indian diplomat.

Pakistan is not isolated at all because of PTI’s opposition to drone attacks. In fact it is the US that is isolated on drone attacks including at the UN. If the PML-N government would implement the APC mandate the US isolation on drones would be complete but sadly Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is continuing the Zardari tradition of doublespeak on drones, allowing the US continuing access to attack Pakistan with drones going against all international and humanitarian laws.