Senate FAC report on ‘Global and Regional Scenario in the Aftermath of 9/11’: War on terrorism hurting Kashmir
* Pakistan condemns treatment of Iraqi prisoners
By Shahzad Raza
ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s foreign affairs committee (FAC) has observed that the “war on terrorism” has undermined the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people and their inalienable right to self-determination, which is in denial of the United Nations (UN) resolutions on Kashmir.
This was stated by the foreign affairs committee in its report on “Global and Regional Scenario in the aftermath of 9/11” during a meeting between Mushahid Hussein Syed, the Senate FAC chairman and Donald Anderson, the chairman of the British House of Commons foreign affairs committee, on May 10.
The committee said in its report that the inalienable right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people as committed by the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir and Palestine is being sacrificed on the altar of the “war on terrorism”. “Parliament is fully independent to take up and discuss foreign policy issues. That is why it held a five-day debate on the war on Iraq and prepared a joint resolution,” said Mr Hussein, who is also the secretary general of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML), while releasing the findings of the meeting at a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday.
Mr Hussein said Parliament was independent enough to discuss and make decisions on foreign policy issues. “It all depends upon us, the politicians, if we remain afraid of the fallout of our actions, we will never be able to deliver anything,” Mr Hussein said.
The report said the committees discussed the invasion of Iraq and its subsequent occupation, which turned out to be false, because no weapons of mass destruction were found, and the unveiling of the Palestine road map has widened the differences between the west and the Muslim world.
During the meeting, Pakistan’s delegation held the view that Pakistan had taken a major initiative to convince Muslim countries to take effective and urgent measures to curb and contain religious extremism and present Islam in its true perspective as a religion of moderation, tolerance and enlightenment.
The Pakistani delegation emphasised that the international community did not sanction the war on Iraq, which was basically a change in regime and an exercise to extend control over oil in the country.
“The brutal treatment to Iraqi prisoners clearly demonstrates that the world is going back to the norms of might is right. In fact the international community has to strengthen the UN in a way that it should have a system of justice, which should be effective and executable,” Mr Hussein said.
Mr Hussein condemned the maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of the coalition forces and tabled a resolution against it. They questioned the members of the House of Commons whether the war was waged against Iraq to capture oil fields in Iraq or not.
Mr Anderson and other members of the British committee said that the war on terrorism was “open ended and not winnable”, and there were differences over Iraq between the Europeans and the US, with the US perhaps over obsessed with hard power. “Iraq has to be stabilised, which represents the interests of the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people and which is recognised internationally,” the report quoted members of the House of Commons as saying.
“Had the British House of Commons known on March 8, 2003, that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that substantial elements of the weapons of mass destruction dossier were not valid, there was no possibility, that Mr Blair would have received the vote from the House of Commons in support of the invasion of Iraq,” the report quoted them as saying.