ISLAMABAD, Aug 24 (APP): National Security Committee Thursday out-rightly rejected allegations levelled in the US strategy and observed that scapegoating Pakistan will not help in stabilizing Afghanistan.
The meeting of National Security Committee was held here
on Thursday to discuss the Trump Administration’s South Asia
Strategy, a Foreign Office press release said.
The committee observed that Pakistan had to manage the blowback
of a protracted conflict in Afghanistan that resulted in deluge
of refugees, flow of drugs and arms and more recently in the
shape of terrorist safe havens in eastern Afghanistan from where anti-Pakistan terrorist groups continue to operate and
launch attacks inside Pakistan.
Pakistan has consistently supported all international efforts
for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan and has also committed more
than a billion US dollars for infrastructure and social development
in that country.
Pakistan has worked with both the United States and
Afghanistan to promote peace through a politically negotiated
outcome which, in Pakistan’s view, remains the best option
to bring stability to this war torn country.
A prolonged military campaign in Afghanistan has
resulted in destruction and killing of hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians. Pakistan has also endorsed and supported all Afghan
owned and Afghan led initiatives for peace.
Over the years, Pakistan has worked with both the United
States and Afghanistan to promote peace through a
politically negotiated outcome which, in Pakistan’s view, remains
the best option to bring stability to this war torn country.
On its own part, Pakistan has taken indiscriminate actions
against all terrorist networks and sacrificed tens of thousands
of troops and civilians in this fight.
The demonstrated security improvement inside Pakistan would
not have been possible without eliminating all terrorist hideouts.
Moreover, successful cooperation with the US in the past
against the common enemy, terrorism, reflects
Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to eliminate this menace.
The committee stressed that instead of any financial
or material assistance, there should be understanding and recognition
of our efforts, contributions and sacrifices of thousands of
Pakistanis and over 120 billion US dollars of economic losses.
We consider the lives of the citizens of other countries
as sacrosanct as those of our own and therefore Pakistan
is committed to not allowing its soil to be used for violence
against any other country.
We expect the same from our neighbors. The claims of
billions of Dollars in aid to Pakistan are also misleading to
the extent that the reimbursements to Pakistan since 2001 only
account for part of the cost of ground facilities and air corridors
used by the United States for its operations in Afghanistan, rather
than any financial aid or assistance, the press release said.
Pakistan’s effective counter-terrorism operations have
clearly proved that tide of terrorism can be reversed and we are
willing to share our experience with both the US and Afghanistan.
This would require working together and focusing on core
issues of eliminating safe havens inside Afghanistan,
border management, return of refugees and reinvigorating the
peace process for a political settlement in Afghanistan.
The Committee stressed that India cannot be a net security
provider in the South Asia region when it has conflictual
relationships with all its neighbors and is pursuing a policy of destabilizing Pakistan from the east and the west.
The Committee expressed deep concern at Indian policies
inimical to peace in the region including interference in
the internal affairs of neighboring countries and using terrorism
as an instrument of state policy.
The Committee condemned state-inflicted repression on the
people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated Pakistan’s continued diplomatic, political and moral support for their
struggle for self determination.
The Committee reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to protect
its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Committee underscored that as a responsible Nuclear weapon state,
Pakistan has in place a robust and credible command and control
system which has been universally recognized and appreciated.
Pakistan will continue to extend all possible cooperation to the
international community for achieving the common objectives of peace and
stability in Afghanistan and in the broader region.