The real story of PM Sharif’s meeting with US law makers

By Sarmad Ali

Islamabad, Nov 3 (Pak Destiny) In the closed door meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the United States law makers said what the Pakistani premier was not expecting. Too hard questions even at times it appeared that they were snubbing him and his team.
In his tour of America last month PM faced this odd situation having no idea about it.
As soon as Mr Sharif ended his speech, the lawmakers unleashed a barrage of critical comments and questions and they did so in such a harsh and unfriendly tone that surprised the Pakistani delegation.
They blamed Pakistan for allegedly sending its “troops, not just the Taliban” for attacking US soldiers in Afghanistan. They accused Pakistan of “patronising” cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan and for “sending terrorists” into India to “kill Indian civilians”.
Pakistan was also blamed for nurturing Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaatud Dawa and for “allowing” Hafiz Saeed to “operate freely” and launch cross-border attacks into India.
Some lawmakers blamed Pakistan for killing Baloch civilians and for suppressing Baloch and Sindhi languages and cultures too.
Others mentioned Pakistan’s failure to try the Mumbai terror suspects and urged Mr Sharif to start the trial as soon as possible.
“The attack was so severe and was delivered with so much ferocity that it surprised the prime minister and he often had to be helped by his aides,” said a witness.
What Mr Lorsch, a Los Angeles entrepreneur and philanthropist, said in his interview to Fox News confirmed these eyewitness accounts. Mr Lorsch attended “a carefully stage-managed” private meeting between Mr Sharif and senior US lawmakers in Washington last week and participated in this supposedly “friendly exchange of views” between the prime minister and US lawmakers.
Mr Lorsch and the lawmakers had brought so much pressure on Mr Sharif that he pledged a legal review of the Shakil Afridi case, Fox News reported.
“My message to them was: ‘What they do with Dr Afridi is how Pakistan will be judged as a democracy by the rest of the world’,” Mr Lorsch said.
The tight-knit gathering, which included Pakistan’s national security adviser Sartaj Aziz and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, had not been previously announced to the somewhat surprised Pakistani delegation, the report said.
The meeting lasted around 25 minutes in a side-room immediately prior to the dinner hosted by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, it said.
“This was first time that the leadership in Pakistan realised the importance of Dr Afridi not as a political bargaining tool but as a symbol of how freedom-loving American people regard Pakistan,” Mr Lorsch said. – Pak Destiny


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