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Washington declaration averted war, says Nawaz

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    Washington declaration averted war, says Nawaz

    [b]Washington declaration averted war, says Nawaz

    ISLAMABAD, July 13: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday informed his party legislators that the Washington declaration had averted a major India-Pakistan war. Briefing the party legislators about the accord, he hoped that soon the nation would realise that his decision was correct, a party source said.
    Mr Sharif said that the assurance given by President Clinton to take personal interest in resolution of Kashmir issue was a big
    diplomatic success.
    The objective of Mujahideen to capture Kargil heights had been achieved through internationalization of Kashmir issue, he said.
    However the parliamentary party meeting earlier heard some criticism and a number of suggestions about the national security and
    foreign policy, the source added.
    Some members suggested that national security council should be set up to institutionalize decision making process on vital national
    However, the right-wing element in the party was not happy over the withdrawal from the Kargil heights and they openly gave vent
    to their resentment, he added.
    Syeda Abida Hussain, Syed Fakhar Imam and Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri called for institutionalizing decision-making process on
    issues linked to the national security.
    Ms Hussain and Mr Imam urged the government to fix responsibility for what they said a divergence in the government's policy
    towards India.
    Referring to the Lahore declaration, they said the government should minutely analyse as to why there was a dichotomy in its policy.
    Ms Hussain demanded of the government to set up national security council to achieve complete cohesion among different
    government institutions on vital issues.
    Mr Kasuri also underlined the need for institutionalising the process of decision-making, saying that academicians and experts should also be employed so that different policy options would be available to the government.
    Either the government should establish national security council or should improve working of the Defence Committee of the
    Cabinet, he added.
    There should be a permanent secretariat of such an institutions where experts could be engaged from private sector to bring in fresh
    ideas, he said.
    "Nobody is in favour of war but we cannot depend on Americans," Moin-Uddin Lakhvi told Dawn after the meeting.
    He said at the meeting he asked the prime minister as to what the Americans or the international community had done for the
    resolution of Kashmir issue in the past 50 years.
    Later the party released copies of a resolution which it claimed was unanimously adopted.
    The resolution said that the parliamentary party appreciated the decision of the prime minister and hoped "India will withdraw its
    forces from occupied Kashmir."
    "This meeting hopes that India will positively responded to the offer made by Nawaz Sharif and withdraw its forces from occupied Kashmir," Muslim league legislators said in a resolution adopted at the meeting.
    Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz read out the Washington declaration at the meeting.
    The parliamentary party strongly supported "courageous, wise, sagacious and far-sighted" decision of the prime minister on the issue
    of Line of Control, it added.