ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Tuesday said that Pakistan was only being made scapegoat as it could not be held responsible for every ill in the neighbouring country Afghanistan.
Hina Khar expressing her views during the question-hour session of the Senate further said that Afghanistan blamed Pakistan for the murder of former Afghan President Barhanuddin Rabbani without any solid grounds and reasons.
‘Pakistan could not be blamed for any such untoward incident if an Afghan immigrant from Pakistan side crosses border and involves in such illegal activity’, she said , adding that baseless allegations were being levelled against Pakistan from the other side only due to its porous border with Afghanistan.
She admitted that Afghanistan was an important neighbour and Pakistan must recognise Kabul as sovereign country while reviewing its foreign policy since it was in Pakistan’s interest to have good relations with Afghanistan. Responding to a question, she said that Pakistan was facing serious threats of suicide attacks from Afghanistan side after the murder of Professor Rabbani.
While responding to Senator Abbas Khan’s question as to why Afghan nationals get multiple visas for Pakistan without any strict requirements while Pakistanis get single entry visas from Kabul,Hina said that there should be reciprocity of visa policy.
Meanwhile, lawmakers from Balochistan protested when Minister for Industries Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi through his written reply informed the House that government had established only 48, out of 1325 new Utility Stores, in Balochistan.
Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Industries, Khawaja Sheraz explaining the written reply said that that it was the policy of Utility Stores Corporation (USC) that it did not open its outlets where there was no branch of any scheduled bank.
Senator Hasil Bizenjo from Balochistan termed it the responsibility of the govt to open branches of National Bank of Pakistan in every tehsil of Balochistan while Senator Zahid Khan pointed out that there was not a single USC outlet in all agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Hafiz Rasheed Ahmed from FATA staged a token walkout from the proceedings over the issue.
Acting Chairman Senate Jan Muhammad Jamali directed the Parliamentary Secretary to arrange a meeting with the lawmakers to decide modalities for the redressal of their issues in this regard and report back to the House at the earliest.