450 fishermen arrested by Indian authorities in five years: Senate told

ISLAMABAD, July 19 (APP): Advisor to the Prime Minister
on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Tuesday said that as separate and independent arm of the government, views of US Congressmen may reflect shade of opinion in the Congress but it was not reflective of overall US policy.

The Advisor was giving a policy statement in the
Senate regarding remarks of US lawmakers calling for
cutting Pakistan’s financial aid and imposing sanctions on it.
Terming the language of US lawmakers against Pakistan
inappropriate, he said an amendment to cut US aid to Pakistan was recently defeated in the US Congress, adding that overall the US Congress was strongly supportive of democracy.

“Our engagement with US congress continues on regular
basis besides day to day communication,” he said, adding that the US congress shares US administration’s desire to bring stability in Afghanistan and it was the visible concern
that considerable challenge would remain despite others
US efforts.

He said the Foreign Relations Committee of US Congress regularly hold public hearing to discuss global development and review US policy. Recently the Congress Committee has reviewed the US policy on Vietnam, Libya Turkey, Syria Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he added.
It also conducts oversight on US foreign assistance to ensure that US assistance was truly serving US objective, he added.

The Advisor said Pakistan being a major recipient of
US assistance, development in Pakistan US relations have therefore, being followed by foreign relations committee on regular basis.

He said the US engagement in Afghanistan and concerns arising from obsecured situation also generate interest of congress and┬ how the US assistance in Pakistan was helping to achieve these US objectives.

Similarly while testimonies by US officials in these hearing
duly reflect the US policy but statement by non
governmental witnesses invited, only reflect personal opinion and  interest of the lobby they represent, he said and added that the US congress had been strongly supportive of democracy.

He said Pakistan was vigilant to its interests and assured the House that our efforts would continue to protect our national interests.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani speaking on the occasion said that the US authorities should be assured that Parliament of Pakistan would not ‘lay down’ such remarks of the US lawmakers. “We don’t want to start a tug of war,” he added.

He, however, said ┬ if the US Congress or lawmakers wanted to malign Pakistan then the US should also keep it in mind that they were also vulnerable. Citing the past US policies, he said that yesterday’s “Mujahidden are today’s terrorists while the US is also supporting the IS at various places.”

Rabbani said the US lawmakers should exercise restrain , adding “We are exercising much restrain but if they don’t do it then it will be a tit for tat.”