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Pakistan making efforts to resume peace talks between the Afghan govt and Taliban: Sartaj Aziz

16 September, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security And Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday informed the Upper House of parliament that Pakistan is making efforts to resume the stalled peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban, which had hit a snag after news broke of the death of Taliban’s long-time leader Mullah Omar.

Speaking in Senate, the adviser brushed off rumours that the former Taliban leader was killed in Karachi. “We’d made it clear that he (Mullah Omar) he did not die in Karachi and with the statement of Mullah Omar’s son that his father died due to tuberculosis, and hepatitis, all the rumours of his death in Pakistan died down,” he added. Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani said that there should be zero tolerance for corruption, but it must be across the board. Speaking on the floor of the House in connection with International Democracy Day, he said that there is no denying of the fact that there is disconnect between civil and military leadership.

“There is a disconnect between civil and military leadership, we all know that,” he remarked while responding to Senator Farhatullah Babar, who called for admitting an adjournment motion pertaining to an interview by Senator Mushahidullah Khan. Babar pressed for debate on Mushiduallah Khan’s interview, who claimed that former director general of ISI Major Gen Zahirul Islam wanted to topple the government as well as army chief in by staging a sit-in in Islamabad with the help of opposition politician Imran Khan.

However, the Senate chairman kept telling the PPP senator to satisfy him whether he can move an adjournment motion against a fellow senator for his statement outside parliament. Babar insisted that he has nothing to do with the minister, rather he wanted a debate on the statement which he made as a cabinet member of the ruling government. The chairman deferred the adjournment motion on the request of Aitzaz Ahsan, opposition leader in Senate, who promised to assist the chair whether it can be admitted or not, as Mushahidullah Khan is also a member of Senate.

The senator also spoke about International Day of Democracy, which is marked on September 15, to promote and protect democracy, and called for making joint efforts to stop any military future adventurism, saying worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship. Senator Usman Khan Kakar, who hails from Balochistan, said there exists no democracy at all in Pakistan. The current democracy in which the politicians take pride is remote-controlled from somewhere else, he said, in an obvious reference to military.

Another Baloch senator, Hasil Bizenjo, warned the politicians that they must correct themselves or else the people would automatically look towards the military, saying majority of the people in the country still believe that it is the chief of army staff (COAS) who runs the country. Senator Saeed Ghani of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said he would prefer the worst kind of democracy over the best form of dictatorship.

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