ISLAMABAD: “Pakistan is trying to maintain a balance in its relationship with the US and the government has made it clear that Islamabad can live without the US aid but will not compromise on national integrity,” said Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif while addressing the Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday.
He said the relations with the US are not normal following tirades of Donald Trump. Asif also made it clear that Pakistan could no more host millions of Afghan refugees. The minister stressed that Pakistan has been repeatedly seeking assistance for repatriation of Afghan refugees and to work on border management with Afghanistan.
The foreign minister told the meeting that continuous jibes at Pakistan are all accusations to put responsibility of the US failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan. “We have to stand up to those who accuse us of harbouring terrorists,” he remarked.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Nuzhat Sadiq and was attended among others by senators Farhatullah Babar, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Karim Ahmed Khawaja, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Daud Khan Achakzai, Haji Moin Khan Afridi, secretary foreign affairs and secretary Cabinet Division.
The chairperson of the committee, along with the members, praised the strong stance taken by the minister in response to President Trump’s statements against Pakistan. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed urged the Foreign Office to be more proactive in putting forth Pakistan’s narrative in the war against terrorism.
Regarding the filling-up of vacant Pakistani chairs in foreign universities, the committee was given a detailed briefing by the Cabinet Division against 14 vacant seats in universities in 11 countries. The committee complemented the prompt and impartial procedure developed and carried out by the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Division. It may be noted that the Search and Selection Committee is headed by Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah and has Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Secretary Foreign Affairs, Secretary Cabinet Division, Secretary Establishment Division, HEC chairman and a representative from the PM’s Office as members.