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Prime Minister rejects US allegations against Pakistan

Pakistan News / Islamabad : Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani while rejecting the US statements against Pakistan Thursday said the country cannot be pressurized to “do more” and urged the nation to stand united to confront the challenges.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

“Pakistan’s red lines and national interests must be respected,” Gilani asserted at the meeting of country’s top political leadership at the specially convened All Parties Conference (APC).

Gilani said “blame game is counter-productive,  This should end.”

“Pakistan cannot be pressurized to do more,” he categorically said and termed the statements by the US officials as “surprising”, particularly as these ignored the immense sacrifices rendered by the people and the Armed Forces of Pakistan.

The conference held at the PM House had a single agenda – to discuss the scenario in the wake of statements by senior US officials accusing Pakistan of supporting the Haqqani network.

Prime Minister Gilani said there was a need to resolve issues in a responsible and positive manner and said these could only be addressed through dialogue.

“We have rejected these assertions and underscore the importance of addressing all issues in a mature, reasonable and responsible manner,” he said.

Gilani said the statements were “surprising”, particularly as these simply ignored the immense sacrifices rendered by the people and armed forces of Pakistan.

He said Pakistan desired relations based on sovereign equality, mutual interest and  mutual respect.

“Protection and upholding of national sovereignty is our first priority,” Gilani said, adding that Pakistan would  keep open channels of communication.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan was an honourable and respectable nation and was resilient and strong enough to tackle all important challenges to its national interests.

He said political parties were the true representatives of the masses and had gathered here to evolve national consensus on important national issues.

Gilani said Pakistan stood at a critical juncture and mentioned that from Afghanistan’s insurgency in 1979 to the involvement of international powers, the country took a lead role in ensuring regional and world peace.

He pointed to the recent incidents of lawlessness in Afghanistan and said these had dealt a severe blow to the peace efforts. He mentioned the formation of the Joint Peace commission on the request of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and said Pakistan fully supports the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led efforts for transition.

He also mentioned the formation of the trilateral group, comprising the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan for interaction and cooperation at the strategic and operational level and said Pakistan was desirous of working for the return of complete peace to the strife-torn country.

The Prime Minister said the recent assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, head of the High Peace Council, had severely damaged the chances of a peaceful transition in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan desired support and cooperation of the international community.

Gilani said the Pakistani political leadership and the nation had to stand up to the challenges, by rising above petty political differences to defend its territory, national sovereignty and integrity.

He said the people had complete faith in its armed forces and would focus on the challenges facing the nation so that the world also knows that Pakistani nation stands united in times of difficulty.

He thanked the political leadership to participate in the important meeting. He said the meeting was to discuss vital national issues and to apprise them about the latest changes in the region.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha briefed the participants of APC on the challenges to the national security.

Foreign Minister apprised the participants of her meetings with the US government officials during her visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session.

Ms Khar said she assertively presented Pakistan’s case during her meetings and highlighted the immense sacrifices rendered by the nation in the war against terrorism.
The Director General ISI briefed the meeting about the challenges the country was facing at military front.

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