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January 6, 2018

US is losing it: Pakistan

Top Story

January 6, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Amid an exchange of allegations, Islamabad on Friday told Washington that suspension of security assistance would only serve to dent the US interests.

Pakistan has however taken the high road by keeping lines of communication open and ‘engaging’ through diplomatic channels. Washington has clearly been told that its “arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts” will in no way help achieve common goals but impact bilateral security cooperation between the two nations and regional peace.

“We are engaged with the US administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details. Impact of US decision on pursuit of common objectives is also likely to emerge more clearly in due course of time," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized Friday evening.

While the Foreign Office gives no details of this ‘engagement’, and what exact details are wanted from Washington over this suspension, nevertheless Islamabad did not shy away from stating that while it was determined to continue fighting terrorism with or without US assistance, to-date its own resources ran into over $120 billion in 15 years to keep terrorism at bay.

It said the war on terrorism was being fought for ensuring peace across the globe. “We are determined to continue to do all it takes to secure the lives of our citizens and broader stability in the region,” the Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement.

As Washington blows hot and cold with the National Security Adviser H.R McMaster telling VoA, "Pakistan is a country with tremendous potential — human potential, economic potential….We have to really begin now to work together to stabilise Afghanistan," the spokesman warned, “Working towards enduring peace requires mutual respect and trust along with patience and persistence. Emergence of new and more deadly groups such as Daesh in Afghanistan call for enhancing international cooperation. Arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts are counterproductive in addressing common threats”.

Pointing to realities on the ground, Islamabad also sent out a grim reminder to the Trump administration that Pakistan alone could not be responsible for peace in the region, and Kabul too had a role to play.

“Our efforts towards peace are awaiting reciprocal actions from the Afghan side in terms of clearance of vast stretches of ungoverned spaces on the Afghan side, bilateral border management, repatriation of Afghan refugees, controlling poppy cultivation, drug trafficking and initiating Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political reconciliation in Afghanistan.

"If Pakistan today sees significant improvement in security achieved through a series of major counter-terrorism operations resulting in elimination of organized terrorist presence, then this has also directly served US national interests as well as the larger interests of international community”.

The spokesman added, “It has helped decimate al-Qaeda and fight other groups who took advantage of ungoverned spaces, a long porous border and posed a common threat to peace.” Meanwhile, DG Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Friday said suspension of US aid to Pakistan would impact bilateral security cooperation between the two nations and regional peace.

Talking to the Voice of America (VOA), General Ghafoor said: “Suspension of security assistance will not affect Pakistan’s resolve to fight terrorism; however, it for sure will have an impact on Pakistan-US security cooperation and efforts towards regional peace.”

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