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Ambassador Meets Pakistanis in the Eastern Region
Report by  Ishaq Rana, Correspondent, EP

(Dhahran, September 24, 2001) His Excellency Asad Durani, Ambassador of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visited Eastern Province on September 24, 2001 as a campaign to brief Pakistani community about the current situation in Pakistan. Pakistani Community Council (PCC) a representative body of all the social and politically affiliated organization on a very short notice arranged a meeting in Dhahran International Hotel where about a 100 prominent Pakistanis from all walks of life arrived from other cities of EP AL-Dammam, Al-Khobar, Al-Hassa, Jubail, Qatief, Ras Tanura and Abqaiq. They included; executive cadre, doctors, professors, engineers, accountants, IT specialists, businessmen and skilled workers. GS PCC, Javed Inam performed as Stage Secretary, Malik Farooq started the program with the recitation from the Holy Qura’an. Ishaq Rana Senior VP, PCC and Mohammed Waheed VP, PCC conducted the questions and answers session that was the longest session of two hours meeting.
Mr. Ambassador explained the reasons about Pakistan’s stand and participation in International Coalition against terrorism. He said that according to the prevailing circumstance this was the best option we adopted if we look in the context of our untrustworthy neighbor that was trying hard to involve us and take advantage of the situation. The most important task ahead of us was to protect the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. We decided to join hands with International community against terrorism.
This is not at all against Taliban. We have tried our best to convince Taliban Government to adhere to the demand of International community and hand over Osama Bin Laden. Let me make it clear Pakistan too like other our friends have requested USA to provide us the alleged involvement of Osama Bin Laden in the terrorism of New York and Washington. No human can justify such a barbaric act of terrorism.  Pakistan has taken this decision after consultations with its friends particularly China and Saudi Arabia and they are 100% agreed with us.
He said my purpose coming here is to brief you about Government stand on this issue and take away any kind of fear you have in your hearts. We are in pretty good shape and Pakistan will perform its role, which is according to the Islamic principles and interest of Pakistan. You are aware that still the situation is not very clear.

The Ambassador gave the answers of lot of questions. Following are the answers to the questions.

The questions visible in the answers: 

·        China and Saudi Arabia are 100% with us

·        In the society of Nations we have to go with the friends. We cannot recognize Israel as along as our friends do not recognize Israel.

·        This fight is against the terrorists, not against any country, religion or innocent people.

·        Kashmiries are struggling for their freedom and freedom fighting is not terrorism rather there is State terrorism to suppress the rights of the people

·        CIA and ISI had the role in Afghan freedom fighting against Russia but the major role was of Afghan freedom fighters.  CIA and ISI were only helping them.

·        I doubt very much that Taliban will fight with Pakistan. Despite of the current situation, thousands of Afghani refugees are pouring into Pakistan and we have not shut our doors for Afghan people.

·        I cannot answer how long this war against terrorism will go and coalition troops will remain in the area.

·        This is a different situation than 1971 when Pakistan was disintegrated.

·        As for as the question of command is concern, I cannot answer this question, however, the meetings are in progress on this subject.

·        The world has started pointing fingers on Israeli state terrorism.

·        We have not stopped; we are still trying to convince Taliban to listen to the world community demands.

·        Pakistan Government is meeting with people of all walks of life including, politicians, religious scholars, students, NGOs and labor unions to create solidarity. Thursday has been declared as solidarity day in Pakistan.

·        Pakistan is trying to get most out of this situation.

At the end PCC President Sajid Khan Abbasi thanked Ambassador and others guests arrived from far flung areas of KSA on a very short notice. The audience was entertained with refreshments.

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