PTI Islamabad, Pakistan
Apr 24, 2019, 07.04 AM
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday came under attack by the Opposition for acknowledging in Tehran that in the past militants had used his country's soil to carry out attacks in Iran.
Addressing a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the end of his two-day trip (April 21-22) to Tehran, Khan had said, "I know Iran has suffered from terrorism (perpetrated) by groups operating from Pakistan. We (need to) have trust in each other that both countries will not allow any terrorist activity from their soil. We hope this will build confidence between us".
During a discussion on Khan's visit to Iran in National Assembly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khurrum Dastigir said, "Prime Minister's statement is against the national security as for the first time he has admitted the use of (the country's) soil for terrorism in Iran."
"No prime minister has ever made such a confession on foreign soil," Dastagir said, adding that only a day earlier, "the foreign minister had stated that terrorists had entered from Iran to carry out activities in Balochistan."
"Pakistan is exposed internationally by such statements," the PML-N lawmaker said.
Dastagir said that the prime minister has committed "diplomatic blunders" and "through his statements, he has hurt the national security".
He also attacked Khan for his earlier statement that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's re-election could help in moving towards a settlement of Kashmir issue.
Pakistan Peoples Party legislator and former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said, "We are worried for the country after seeing it continually become a laughing stock. This is not funny anymore. You cannot play with the destiny of this country anymore."
She said that the prime minister had publicly spoken about the use of Pakistani territory against Iran in the past also, but others who had said much less severe things were ousted from the country and cases were filed against them and their right to be elected was taken away.
She also referred to Khan's other statements in which he had said Japan and Germany share borders.
"You cannot make these stupid statements and expect us to stand behind you," Khar said.
Defending Khan, Pakistan's Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said "he was quoted out of context" on his acknowledgement of the use of Pakistani soil by terrorists against Iran.
On Khan's statement about Japan and Germany sharing borders, Mazari said that it was "slip of tongue" when he said that Japan and Germany were neighbours and as he wanted to say France and Germany.
Later, the Opposition staged protest in front of the Speaker's chair demanding an explanation from Khan in the floor of the House.
Pakistan Peoples Party legislator and former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said, "We are worried for the country after seeing it continually become a laughing stock."