ISLAMABAD                 -           Former Chairman Senate and PPP lawmaker Mian Raza Rabbani castigated the government on Friday in Senate for unnecessarily “trumpeting” over US President Donald Trump’s remarks about Islamabad during his visit to India and said that joint statement issued at the conclusion of his tour should be an eye opener for Pakistan.

Taking part in the debate on the six point house agenda, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) stalwart Senator Rabbani said that US President’s two-day visit to India clearly tells contrary to the claims of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the Foreign Office that his remarks about US Pakistani relationship were a success of their foreign policy.

“I am taken a back with the statement of Foreign Minister that Trump’s remarks were extraordinary.” US President during his recent visit to New Delhi had said that the United States has “a very good relationship” with Pakistan.

“We are being said that his remarks are a big success of the foreign policy of Pakistan,” PPP Senator said ,adding, that the joint communiqué of US and India should be an eye opener for Pakistan.

“Noting that a strong and capable Indian military supports peace, stability, and a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific…,” he read out an excerpt of US India joint statement and questioned whether the recognition of Indian military might by the US is a feather in the cap of Pakistani diplomacy.

He said that India’s signing of military deal with US to get the most sophisticated weapons will change the balance in this region.

“President Trump and Prime Minister Modi denounced any use of terrorist proxies and strongly condemned cross-border terrorism in all its forms. They call on Pakistan to ensure that no territory under its control is used to launch terrorist attacks, and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot,” Senator Rabbani read out another excerpt of joint statement.

He denounced US and India for calling on Pakistan that is a sovereign state. “We aren’t ready to accept this and FO is mum on this.” He said that the Opposition was ready to support the government on Kashmir issue but it should take a position and move forward.

He said that this was not enough to only state that Pakistan’s foreign policy was successful as facts were contrary to that.

Former chairman Senate went on to state that President Trump in his press conference, while in India, said that “Pakistan is working on Kashmir” and questioned from the government what it is doing on Kashmir as the parliament and masses have no knowledge of it and they were only hearing from Trump.

Senator Rabbani said that the government is also taking this as biggest victory for Pakistan’s stance when President Trump said that he was ready to mediate between India and Pakistan.

He pointed out that US President, while present in India, had no “moral courage” to take up with India the ongoing genocide and lockdown in Occupied Kashmir. “He did not dare to ask from New Delhi while present in the same city where people were playing with the blood of Muslims and only said that this is India to look at,” he said.

He remarked that whether Pakistan has forgotten that it was President Trump who had recognized and gave legitimacy to Golan Heights, admitted Jerusalem as capital of Israel and gave a plan on Israel and Palestine that was only in former’s favour. “Whether such mediation Pakistan’s government is searching for Kashmir.”

Rabbani also deplored that protective face masks were either available at exorbitant or have vanished from markets after two confirmed coronavirus cases were detected in Pakistan. Similarly, other protective gear and medicines available in hospitals to deal with the deadly virus have also disappeared. “As a nation, we have stooped to such low morally that we are ready to play with the lives of our own people only to maximize our profits” he said adding that the parliament should play its role in this regard.

At the outset of the sitting, the Leader of the Opposition Raja Zafarul Haq opening debate in the especially requisitioned session said that 5th August decision of India to annex Occupied Kashmir valley has gone into horrible proportions and has now resulted into spreading of protests throughout the India on controversial citizenship law and the start of communal rights in New Delhi.  He deplored that President Trump in his visit to India avoided to talk on the killing of Muslims there.

The Parliamentary Leader of PML-N in the Senate Mushahidullah Khan said that the world should intervene what is happening in India.

Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq remarked that Pakistan should play its role about recent happenings in India as minorities were no more safe there. Pakistan should ask for summoning of the meeting of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in the regards, he added.

The Parliamentary Leader of PPP in the Senate Ms Sherry Rehman demanded that the house should specify one day to debate Kashmir issue in every session. With recent incidents in India, its face being a secular constitutional state has diminished as minorities and especially Muslims have become victims of brutal state violence there, she said.

She said that deadly coronavirus pandemic should be taken as national crisis and demanded that the situation necessitated an urgent briefing by the government as to what it is doing to prevent its outbreak. She demanded that PM should have come and take the house into confidence.

Leader of the House in the Senate Syed Shibli Faraz in a statement on behalf of Ministry for National Health Services said that the National Action plan for the COVID-19 prevention and management has been developed and a National Core Committee is regularly monitoring the situation and preparedness measures. He further said that standard guideless have been developed by the ministry for screening of the cases and have been shared with all the stakeholders. He said that Health Helpline for COVID-19 is being established while Public Health Emergency Operation Centre has been activated under the umbrella of health ministry for reviewing the situation on daily basis, risk assessment and follow-up of the cases.