Nisar describes debate on martyrdom as highly damaging

PoliticsNisar describes debate on martyrdom as highly damaging

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday regretted that a highly damaging debate on who is a martyr has begun targeting the Pakistan Army, and rejected the allegation that Pakistan Army was acting at the behest of the United States in the war against terror.

His statement on martyrdom was directed towards the brewing controversy over Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) ameer Syed Munawar Hassan calling the slain Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud a ‘martyr.’

   

The JI ameer’s statement drew strong ire of the army which asked him to tender unconditional apology. In a statement the ISPR condemned the remarks as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘misleading’, saying that declaring the dead terrorists as shaheeds is insult of the shahadat of thousands of innocent Pakistanis and soldiers of Pakistan’s armed forces.

Moreover, various political parties including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) condemned the JI’s remarks urging him to take his words back.

Speaking on the flood of the National Assembly on Monday, the interior minister said the dialogue process cannot move forward if drone attacks continue, adding that Pakistan has conveyed its concern to the United States.

“Drone strike was a serious setback to the peace process but we will have to review the situation during the next four to six weeks to pick up the pieces again,” he said.

The interior minister said the government was sincerely working to make the dialogue process a success and the other side too wanted formal talks.

Nisar said there should be no doubt that the government and the political parties are fully resolved to defend every inch of Pakistan and its frontiers and provide security to citizens.

“Pakistan is passing through a delicate phase requiring complete unanimity of views and consensus on the strategy to deal with the challenge of terrorism and violence,” Nisar said.

Nisar said conflicting interests are at work and it is duty of the parliamentarians to safeguard interest of the country. He cautioned that there are enemies as well as friends like enemies that are advancing their own agenda in a cloak and dagger game.

The interior minister pointed out that Pakistan has good working relations with Karzai government and the United States has been seeking Pakistan support for establishing contact with Afghan Taliban.

The minister further said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be visiting Afghanistan next month for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“Pakistan government and agencies have no favourites in Afghanistan and only want that the reconciliation process should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned,” Nisar said.

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