Amidst US pressure to act against terror groups functioning from its soil and normalising relations with India, Pakistan seems to be seriously engaged in formulating its new policy.
The turbulence was felt on Wednesday when Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani criticised lawmakers for allegedly leaking details of an in-camera briefing by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held on Tuesday.
By doing that, Rabbani was trying to wrap Gen Bajwa’s unprecedented submission to law makers asking “to try to improve relations with India” before the senate committee. In this meeting Army Chief had also assured the lawmakers of his full support to their efforts.
Gen Bajwa was quoted saying, “The military is ready to back political leadership’s initiative for normalization of relations with India.”
Some lawmakers had reportedly revealed the details to Dawn, a leading newspaper.
Taking notice of the details made public, Rabbani said that by disclosing the details of the proceedings the lawmakers had violated the sanctity of the upper house as Rule 225 prohibits the publicity of an in camera session.
“If we keep up with the same attitude, no one will be able to take the house into confidence,” the chairman said. He has forwarded the matter to the House Business Advisory Committee to consider the case.
Bajwa, invited by senate chairman Raza Rabbani, was accompanied by ISI chief Naveed Mukhtar and top military officers during the four-and-a-half hour session.
Moreover, Gen Bajwa claimed that a large part of Indian military deployments was against Pakistan and accused India of fomenting instability and terrorism in Pakistan. He stated that New Delhi had developed a strong link with Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS).
In late August, US President Donald Trump, while unveiling his south Asia policy said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.”
Pakistan witnessed lots of protests against Trump’s new policy. Pakistan’s foreign minister cancelled his Washington trip while US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells was asked to defer her Islamabad visit.
In early November Pakistan’s foreign minister Khwaja Asif, while addressing an event at a think tank in Islamabad, had assured that their security forces have dismantled terrorist network across the country and welcomed US mediation for easing its ties with India.
He said that Pakistan has always opted for comprehensive dialogue for a peaceful neighbourhood. Asif shared dais with US Ambassador David Hale after a while on this occasion.
Recently US had warned Pakistan that it could “lose control of its territory” if it does not severe ties with Haqqanis and other terror groups