MPs deplore state of foreign policy after US seeks Pakistan on FATF list

MPs deplore state of foreign policy after US seeks Pakistan on FATF list
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ISLAMABAD:  National Assembly on Thursday expressed concerns over the United States’ efforts to put Pakistan on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), saying the move was a failure of Pakistan’s foreign policy and success of Indian narrative of alienating Pakistan.
Lawmakers belonging to multiple political parties showed apprehensions at the failure of diplomacy of the country, as some of them blamed the government for ignoring the issues on the diplomatic front and focussing on the political gains.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shireen Mazari criticised the government for failing to cash in on the arrest of Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav, saying that “despite the arrest of the Indian spy, Pakistan could not tell the international community that it is India which is involved in terrorism, not Pakistan”.
She chided the ruling party for ignoring the diplomatic front and said that “the entire focus has been on mujhay kion nikala”.
Criticising the government for its failure to formulate the foreign policy, she said it was the failure of Pakistan’s foreign policy that a resolution was being moved against it.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Naveed Qamar, who was chairing the sitting due to the absence of the speaker and deputy speaker, demanded that the foreign or interior minister brief the assembly on the issue today.
However, the minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, Riaz Hussain Peerzada, told the house that both foreign and the interior ministers were on foreign tours and the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad would brief the house.
The Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai said no government minister bothered to tell the people of Pakistan about this issue. “It is the right of the house that the foreign office tells it what is happening,” he remarked.
Achakzai also criticised the controversy surrounding the Senate seats, saying Pakistan has become a laughing stock as the impression being given by the campaign is that “the race is on for grabbing a seat in the Senate on payment”.
The PTI leader, Shafqat Mehmood, said his party had recommended direction elections for the Senate seats in order to avoid horse-trading.
PPP leader and NA Leader of Opposition Khursheed Shah initiated the debate on the president’s address to the joint session of the parliament.
He expressed concerns over judiciary meddling in the political affairs, saying that the supremacy of parliament must be ensured, adding that all the institutions need to perform their duties within their constitutional domain.
A resolution moved by the PTI’s Shehryar Afridi pertaining to linking the terrorism to any ethnic group was passed by the NA. The resolution stated that the government must ensure that no nationality or cultural identity is specifically linked to the portrayal of terrorism or any other socio-cultural vice.
The house also referred a government’s bill, ‘The Institute of and Culture Bill 2017,’ to the relevant body after the opposition’s concerns, and adjourned the proceeding.

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