Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar has asked the country’s civil and military leadership to take parliament into confidence over “diplomatic failures, the strategic depth policy and behind-the-scenes support of the Afghan Taliban”.
Senator Khokhar termed in a statement that Pakistan’s non-inclusion in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Afghanistan a major diplomatic failure, “suggesting that Pakistan is facing isolation for not making policies in parliament.”
“Pakistan government claims to have vital stake in Afghan peace process, yet not being allowed to present its position in the Security Council is a major diplomatic failure of the current government,” Khokhar said.
“The ‘strategic depth’ and behind-the-scenes support of the Taliban have isolated Pakistan at the UN and amongst the comity of nations,” he added.
On Saturday, Pakistan expressed “deep regret” over the UNSC president’s decision not to invite it to a session on Afghanistan despite a request.
The Security Council met on Friday to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and concluded the session with a joint call urging all parties, including the Taliban, to reduce violence and seek a political settlement to the issue.
Pakistan had also requested the UNSC chair, currently held by India, to allow it to participate in the session in order to present its perspective on the Afghan situation but it was not accepted.
Senator Khokhar slammed the federal government in his statement, saying “today, Pakistan’s introduction to the world is that of a country which supports the Taliban and allies itself with a regressive force.
“Policies framed behind closed doors have put Pakistan in a dangerous and isolated position,” he claimed, adding that the important UNSC meeting was held without Pakistan.
He also said that reportedly National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf’s visit to the United States was also a failure.
“We should dread the eventuality of sanctions being imposed on Pakistan for supporting the Taliban,” the PPP senator said and questioned that “have we forgotten the history of sanctions like Pressler Amendment that banned most military and economic assistance to Pakistan.”
Senator Khokhar said that the “gravity of the situation demands that the government and the military leadership take parliament into confidence giving them the true picture of the challenges that lie ahead.”
On July 1, the military leadership had informed selected members of parliament from both sides of the aisle in an in-camera session that Pakistan was ready to face any consequences but would not permit the US to establish any airbases on its soil.
The Parliamentary Committee on National Security was also informed that the US appeared to be deliberately leaving behind a “mismanaged and unstable” Afghanistan in order to undermine China, Pakistan and the region.
The next meeting of the committee had to be convened before Eid but it has not yet happened.