CM, opposition, treasury unite against Trump

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said the statement of US President Donald Trump was highly irresponsible.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the CM said that Trump has levelled serious allegations against Pakistan and its people. This time, the whole nation should give its response in a united manner. “In the backdrop of this statement, it is the need of the hour to sanely and intelligently plan the future course of action by maintaining full national unity.”

He added that all segments of the country, including political parties, the national leadership, military establishment and other stakeholders, must play their full role in the formation of this unified strategy.

Shehbaz said that Pakistan would not tolerate any conduct which is against national unity or can create anarchic activity. Shehbaz Sharif said the military leadership had made it clear that the Pakistani nation would give a befitting response to any aggression “We honestly believe the whole nation should firmly stand with the armed forces of Pakistan by setting aside political and organisational differences.

Meanwhile, legislators from the treasury and opposition benches of the Punjab Assembly strongly condemned the recent tweet of US President Donald Trump who put the onus for America’s failure in Afghanistan on Pakistan.

Parliamentarians claimed Trump was speaking Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s language to protect the conspiracies he had hatched to derail Pakistan. They claimed the US president was supporting terrorism in Pakistan

Trump, in his first tweet of the New Year, said, “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than Rs33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools”.

Three resolutions, two from the opposition benches and one from the treasury, were submitted in Punjab Assembly over Trump’s statement. They said the government must respond on every forum of the threats posed by Trump.

PML-N legislator Hina Pervez Butt claimed Al-Qaeda and other banned organizations were eliminated thanks to the cooperation of Pakistan. She said the US gave aid to protect its own interest and every Pakistani citizen had strong reservations over Trump’s statement.

Butt demanded the Pakistani government adopt policies of “no more” instead of “do more”.

PTI legislator Shoaib Siddiqi claimed Pakistan had made tremendous sacrifices to eliminate terrorism after 9/11. He said Trump’s controversial statement was tantamount to ignoring the losses incurred by the army and the Pakistani nation.

He stressed Trump’s allegations were an attempt to hide his own failure. Siddiiqui said this was a clear indication of the government’s failed foreign policies. He demanded the Trump’s tweet be responded to on the national and international level.

PTI legislator and Opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed stated that Trump ahd lost his mental balance and could not even recognise the sacrifices laid down by Pakistanis who were fighting with terrorists. He said the US president was taking these steps to please Modi. Talking to The Express Tribune, he said the statements the statements of Trump must be taken seriously. “Political leaders should be united otherwise Pakistan may face serious harm,” he feared.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2018.

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