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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stress on peace with ‘our own people’

In this photo released by the Press Information Department, Pakistan's opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, right, shakes hands with Pakistan's army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani during their meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday, Sept 29, 2011. - AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: The all-party conference which brought under one roof on Thursday politicians of diverse hues, some of them always at daggers drawn, resolved to lay stress on peace and negotiations, instead of military operation.

While the military leadership, including the ISI chief Lt General Shuja Pasha, reportedly rubbished the allegations levelled recently by some top US officials, a 13-point resolution adopted by the conference said Pakistan must initiate dialogue with a view to negotiating “peace with our own people in the tribal areas” and should put in place a proper mechanism for this.

The resolution, signed by leaders of all political parties attending the conference, didn’t mention the Haqqani network that has been called a ‘veritable arm’ of the ISI by US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm Mike Mullen nor did it make any direct reference to the US pressure on Pakistan to take military action against the Haqqanis.

But in an obvious reference to the tough posture adopted by a section in the US administration it said that as a peace-loving country Pakistan desired to establish and maintain friendly and cordial relations with all countries of the world on the basis of sovereign equality, mutual interest and respect.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who had convened the conference set its tone with a categorical declaration that Pakistan was in no position to accept the ‘do more’ dictation. He said: “Our national interest must be respected and honoured. And Pakistan cannot be pressured to do more.”

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif put some tough questions to the military leadership. He said the country had increasingly become isolated in the world and there must be some reason for that, sources quoted him as saying at the in-camera meeting. Read more at

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