ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party on Sunday asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to play on the front foot at the important meeting with US President Barrack Obama on October 22. Sharif will leave for the US on Monday (today) and arrive in Washington on Tuesday after a night-long stopover in London. Adviser to PM for National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry will already be in Washington when the premier arrives to hold talks with the high-ups of the US government.

Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Chief Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar Malik returned from Washington yesterday after hectic consultations with top US officials on contentious subjects. Sharif and Obama will discuss bilateral and regional issues at the much-anticipated meeting. Pakistan will raise the tension with India among other matters. In a letter to Prime Minister Sharif ahead of his departure to the US, senior PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik advised him to pressurise Washington to respond positively to Islamabad. “Pakistan has always been asked by the US to ‘do more’ and Islamabad in fact did beyond it. Now it is the time for Pakistan to request the US to ‘do more’ for Pakistan,” he wrote.

“The US president may take up the matter of Jehadi organisations with you at the meeting on account of the US-India Joint Declaration, so it is important to urge President Barack Obama to accept that we landed in trouble because of the Soviet Union–Afghanistan war initiated by the US and supported by Pakistan, which actually gave birth to Jehadis, mainly Afro-Arab terrorists, Taliban, and finally Al-Qaeda. These Jehadi outfits later splintered into numerous terrorists groups,” he added.

He pointed out India was continuously violating the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire, making every possible effort to spread ‘anti-Pakistan malicious propaganda in the world, creating mistrust with respect to Pakistan.” “This is no secret that India’s intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), is working in collaboration with Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS), aimed at creating instability and hostility in Balochistan and Fata. Despite numerous requests, Afghanistan has not so far handed over activists and heads of terrorist groups. Mullah Fazlullah had publicly claimed responsibility for the carnage of Peshawar Army Public School,” he stated.

Malik said it was a matter of great concern for Pakistan that in the most recently signed US-India Declaration, both the countries agreed to urge Pakistan to bring to Justice the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks despite the fact that the involvement of Indian agency, RAW, in the attacks has been proven beyond any doubt. “It is actually non-cooperation of India, which is delaying the trial in the Pakistani court as despite multiple requests, India is reluctant to provide proofs and assistance to conclude the matter,” he added. 

He said Pakistan was a peace-loving country and fully cooperating in smashing all the Jehadi organisations and groups as was evident from the unanimously approved National Action Plan that must be appreciated by the international community. “As Pakistan has suffered a lot in the war on terror, besides bearing human losses and great damage to its economy, trade, industry and infrastructure, it is need of the hour that Pakistan must be helped by the US in terms of trade. Hence we demand trade, and not aid,” he wrote.

Malik said the PM’s meeting with Barack Obama was of great importance, especially in context to the relationship and recently signed Joint Declaration between the US and India, which was detrimental to the interests of Pakistan. He asked the premier to raise multipronged anti-Pakistan diplomacy of India and its interference in Pakistan, nexus between RAW and Afghan intelligence agency, NDS, equal treatment to Pakistan and India by the US in the nuclear sector, unprovoked aggression by India at LoC and working boundaries, confessional statement of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bangladesh for breaking Pakistan during the 1971 War and deportation of Dr Afia Siddiqui to Pakistan on humanitarian grounds in view of illness of her aged mother. “I hope the above points shall be appreciated as a gesture of goodwill and expression of support. I have also appealed to all the political parties to show their full backing to Pakistan,” Malik added. He appreciated the four-point peace initiative of the prime minister presented at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.