NA continue debate on drone attack in North Waziristan

Islamabad: The National assembly Wednesday continued debate on drone atack in North Waziristan and the members urged the government to hold talks with the United States for the halt of drone attacks in the tribal belt.

Continuing debate on the recent drone attack in North Waziristan Agency‚ the members from treasury and opposition benches said the drone attacks are totally unacceptable as they amount to disregard of our honour‚ dignity and sovereignty.

They pointed out that several world organizations including Amnesty International have condemned the US drone attacks and government should raise this issue with the US leadership to get the attacks halted.

Initiating the debate‚ Qaisar Ahmad Shaikh said there is complete consensus among all the political parties that the drone attacks are proving counterproductive in the war against terrorism and the dialogue is the only way forward to deal with this issue.

He said the government should hold dialogue with the American leadership and convince them that the drone attacks are not serving the purpose rather fuelling the terrorism.

He said the timing of the recent drone attack was not right at we were poised to begin negotiations with the Taliban. He said our government has fully registered protest with the US on the drone attack but said that we are not in a position to confront the US keeping in view our economic and internal situation.

He also opposed the suspension of NATO’s supplies saying the decision in this regard should be taken keeping in view its pros and cons.

Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan said the government should hold dialogue with the US to get drone attacks halted. He said peace should remain our priority and the government should continue efforts to start negotiations with the Taliban.

Shahida Rehmani maintained that drone attacks are in violation of our territorial integrity and sovereignty. She said the government should give an in-camera briefing to parliamentarians about the outcome of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with the US leadership.

She said the government should not hold dialogue with those elements who do not accept our constitution and law.

Maulana Muhammad Gohar Shah said the government and the Taliban should take confidence building measures for start of negotiations. He said Pakistan today is facing lawlessness and instability due to the US war against terrorism.

Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said the war on terrorism was imposed on Pakistan whose adverse effects are being witnessed in Karachi‚ Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa.

He said it is the responsibility of the government to protect the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. He pointed out that Pakistan is an important regional player and the Afghan issue cannot be sorted out without its cooperation.