A special session organised on Thursday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Senate made headlines for the wrong reasons.
In a session attended by foreign dignitaries, beleaguered Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said no one can tell Pakistan what kind of missiles it can have. The statement caught attention because it was apparently said in the context of the delays in the IMF deal, over which the government is unhappy.
“Nobody has any right to tell Pakistan what range of missiles it can have and what nuclear weapons it can have. We have to have our own deterrence,” he said.
In the land of conspiracies, two and two often become four a little too quickly. Soon there was speculation that he was hinting to the IMF that Pakistan’s missile program is not up for discussion.
A major newspaper even speculated that he had ‘snubbed’ the demand for pakistan’s strategic assets to be abandoned.
It actually wasn’t all that deep. Mr Dar was merely ‘responding’ to speculation.
On March 7, Senator Raza Rabbani, a former chairman and forceful advocate of the Senate’s importance had raised a query in the house.
Calling on the government to take the house into confidence over the IMF delay, the Senator had raised a serious point.
The people have a right to know, the senator said, if Pakistan’s nuclear assets or its relationship with China is under threat.
The finance minister responded today that the missiles or nuclear assets were not a talking point in any negotiation. Sometimes the right answer is the boring one.