ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday while rejecting the US statements against Pakistan, said the country cannot be pressurized to “do more” and urged the nation to stand united to confront the challenges.
He was addressing the country’s political leadership at the specially convened All Parties Conference (APC) here at the PM House, in the wake of recent statements from 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. He rejected the statements by the US officials regarding alleged involvement of Pakistan’s government and its Armed Forces in the attacks on US embassy and the Nato headquarters in Kabul.
“Pakistan cannot be pressurized to do more,” he categorically said and termed the statements “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 mutual respect, dignity and honour.
“Protection and upholding of national sovereignty is our first priority,” Gilani said and added that Pakistani nation 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.
PM 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 premier 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.