Prominent Pakistani MP says country should stop doing double game on terrorism | world news | Hindustan Times
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Prominent Pakistani MP says country should stop doing double game on terrorism

Pakistan kept on making fun of US President Donald Trump by calling him mentally ill rather than taking him or his tweet seriously, which no doubt has put it in serious trouble, Farhatullah Babar said.

world Updated: Mar 07, 2018 22:58 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
File photo of Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker Farhatullah Babar, who served as the spokesman for late premier Benazir Bhutto and her widower Asif Ali Zardari when he was the president.
File photo of Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker Farhatullah Babar, who served as the spokesman for late premier Benazir Bhutto and her widower Asif Ali Zardari when he was the president.(Reuters)

Farhatullah Babar,a lawmaker from the main opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has said that the country must shun a “double game” in the war against terrorism, virtually endorsing repeated allegations by the US that Islamabad is not doing enough against groups operating from its soil.

The PPP, however, distanced itself from Babar’s remarks and insisted that they were made in a personal capacity. Babar, who served as the spokesman for late premier Benazir Bhutto and her widower Asif Ali Zardari when he was the president, made the comments at a roundtable discussion in Islamabad on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision to put Pakistan on a terror financing watchlist.

Babar, who retires from the Senate or upper house of Parliament on March 11 after a six-year term, is regarded as a staunch critic of the security establishment and the policies it has pursued over the years.

“These examples unfortunately have reinforced the perception that Pakistan might not be sincere in eliminating all terrorist groups,” he said during the discussion on Tuesday.

He cited several examples to demonstrate Pakistan’s “total failure” in eradicating certain militant groups. He questioned former Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan’s treatment as a “state guest”, especially since he had the “blood of 150 innocent children on his hands”.

Babar was also critical of the authorities for being unable to provide a rationale over the issuance of a national identity card to slain Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour. He said Pakistan has mainstreamed militants and allowed them to form political parties to contest elections.

Speaking about the move to put Pakistan on the FATF’s ”grey list” for not doing enough to choke funding for groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, he said this was a consequence of Pakistan’s ignorant approach towards President Donald Trump’s tweet on January 1 that accused Islamabad of giving only “lies and deceit” in return for billions of dollars in aid from Washington.

“Pakistan kept on making fun of this tweet and Trump by calling him mentally ill rather than taking him or his tweet seriously, which no doubt has put Pakistan in serious trouble,” he said.

Babar also said China and Saudi Arabia are significant allies of Pakistan but they had withdrawn their support at the FATF plenary meeting in Paris last month because of “punitive pressure” from the US.