Senators call for balance of civil-military power in devising foreign policy

ISLAMABAD: Senator Farhatullah Babar on Wednesday called for formulation of new guidelines to balance civil-military relationship in the country and empower government to devise foreign policy independently on sensitive issues.


In a Senate committee meeting convened by Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani to discuss various aspects of foreign policy and status of Pakistan’s current relationships with other countries, Babar said: “Foreign policy on Kashmir, India, Afghanistan and nuclear assets is being formulated in GHQ (General Headquarters) instead of the Foreign Office.”

Babar, who is a senior Pakistan People’s Party leader, said the foreign policy cannot be given a right direction unless the input by the civil-military leadership is in accordance to the present circumstances of the country.

The PPP senator added that the tweets of Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Lieutenant-General Asim Bajwa have been playing a major role in shaping the country’s foreign policy these days.

“DG ISPR should not tweet on foreign policy but unfortunately he does.

“One of the tweets by the ISPR embarrassed the Iranian president few months ago. Foreign policy will remain disturbed if efforts are not made to neutralise it by giving due share to the civil government on sensitive issues.”

Furthermore, Babar said Pakistan is being isolated in the world because of its current policies.

‘Foreign Office — a post office’
Former Pakistan Ambassador to the US Senator Sherry Rehman remarked that the Foreign Office is playing the role of a post office while the policies are being formulated elsewhere.

“United States deals directly with GHQ instead of civil government,” she said.

On the other hand, President National Party Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo questioned why India is the central point of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

“We are trying to find the countries which has dispute with India so that we can make them our friends,” Bizenjo said, adding: “Pakistan should come above the attitude of making India-specific foreign policy for other countries.

“Iran came closer to India and we are now considering Iran as our enemy which is ridiculous.”


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