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PAL-C Members Meet Boucher, Demand End to Unilateral Actions

September 13, 2008 — Associated Press of Pakistan



WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (APP): Senior representatives of Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C), a Capitol Hill-based advocacy group, met with US top official for South Asia Richard Boucher and demanded an immediate end to unilateral American action on Pakistani soil.

Expressing deep concern at unilateral US military action into Pakistanis territory resulting in high levels of civilian casualties without any commensurate success in terminating high-value targets, the group stressed in a letter “it is in the interest of US national security and for the security and stability in the region that these actions be halted immediately.”

According to the letter released by PAL-C on Friday, its members wrote that by violating the territorial integrity of Pakistan with impunity, the US undermines the position of the Pakistani security forces and that such actions “legitimize the Taliban and al-Qaeda who by militarily engaging the US can claim they are the true defenders of Islam and Muslims.”

The PAL-C cited strong condemnation of the September 3 attack on a border village by Pakistani leadership and the parliament and sought that statements attributed to US officials “must immediately be retracted and clarified to reflect a more sane and sober policy that relies on intelligence-sharing and coordination with the Pakistani military and most importantly, a reliance on them as the sole actor in any kind of military action to be taken within Pakistan.”

The Center recommended continued capacity-building assistance for Pakistani counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency forces to create an indigenous force that will be able to effectively counter militancy in a sustained manner.

It called for greater coordination and intelligence sharing between US/NATO forces, Afghan forces and Pakistani forces; support for development initiatives particularly Senator Biden’s “Enhanced Partnership with PakistanAct of 2008,” and the “Reconstruction Opportunity Zones” legislation; expansion of the FATA Security Development Plan and elimination of “safe haven” rhetoric to be replaced with recognition of Pakistani sacrifices and ongoing efforts to combat militancy within the affected areas.

“These steps will form the basis for a secure America and a strong and stable ally in Pakistan. Pakistan is often considered as the lynchpin in the region. If America can build a relationship with Pakistan based on partnership, prosperity and mutual friendship the entire region will follow,” the members included.

The letter was written by senior PAL-C members including Mossadaq Chughtai, Pervaiz Lodhie, Dr. Rafiq Rahman, Taha Gaya, Dr. Raza Bokhari, Mrs. Mariam Issa, Saquib Khan, Dr. Maqsood Chaudhry, and Arif Zaffar Mansuri.


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