Qureshi’s diatribe against US policy, Pak leadership following ouster as Foreign Minister

Sunday, February 20, 2011

MULTAN - Having nothing to lose after having already been ousted as Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi has lambasted the United States over a number of matters, and also revealed that he was asked to keep silent on the Raymond Davis issue.

US national Davis was arrested last month for shooting two men on motorcycle from his car in a lower-middle class area of Lahore, allegedly in self-defence.

In an emotional speech, Qureshi said that he had been punished because of telling the truth that Davis’ did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

“What wrong have I done if I presented Pakistan’s case before US with honour?” The Nation quoted, Qureshi, as questioning while addressing a huge rally at his native town Multan.

“I was told that taking a stand on this issue can deteriorate relations with US, but I cannot make any compromise on the honour of my country,” he said.

He pointed out that Pakistan was being threatened with suspension of aid by the US, but added that he could not bargain the dignity of his country at any cost.

“We’ll not bargain the country for the sake of aid. We’re Muslims and it is our belief that Allah Almighty opens 100 new doors if one is shut,” he added.

He said that the word ‘politician’ had become an abuse, as people saw politics as a bad game, and without naming any politician, he said that they were looters.

“But neither am I purchasable nor I’ll bow before anybody. I am not the son of any landlord. I am son of a darvesh (saint) and my hands are clean,” he added.

Without taking the name of President Asif Ali Zardari, he said that leaders must follow the way of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto “as the party needed people who follow their way”.

Qureshi also revealed that the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had hinted that Pakistan-US relations had strained in the wake of this issue.It is amazing.hat kind of relations we have that start deteriorating on just one issue,” he expressed his surprise.

He categorically declared that Pakistan never wanted to harm ties with the US, asking the other side to change its mindset and the way of thinking.We are the oppressed. It was our blood that shed and yet we’re being threatened,” he lamented.

Qureshi further said that the US even threatened to suspend talks and stop the aid to Pakistan. “We need to establish long-term relations with the US. But this relationship should be on equality basis,” he emphasised.

He asked the US to review the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in terms of financial and life losses in the ongoing war on terror, adding that his country had suffered numerous losses due to terrorism.

He also blasted the US for ignoring the energy crisis that the country was facing. If they can strike a nuclear deal with India why can’t they see the energy crisis being faced by Pakistan?” he questioned.

Qureshi also said that Pakistan needed a neat and clean leadership for protecting the country.

“Can’t we find a few clean persons out of 180 million masses?” he questioned, adding, “If the nation decides today to stand on its own feet, everything will become right.” (ANI)

will not be displayed