Pakistan intends to remain constructively engaged with US, world for regional peace: Aizaz

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WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (APP): Pakistan has categorically stated that it
will not tolerate any terrorist on its soil and intends to engage constructively with the international community, including the United
States, for regional peace and stability, Pakistan’s Ambassador to
the United States Aizaz Chaudhry said on Wednesday.
Commenting on the speech of President Trump in which he outlined
the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, the ambassador said
it needed to be appreciated that Pakistan had an abiding interest in
peace and stability of Afghanistan.
“We have had to manage the blowback of an unstable Afghanistan for
38 years – more than half of Pakistan’s independent life,” he said in
his comments to APP.
A joint report by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians
for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Physicians for Social Responsibility
and Physicians for Global Survival released in 2015 said that at least 80,000 Pakistanis have been killed in the US-led war on terror.
He said President Trump’s statement was discussed at a session of
the Federal Cabinet on Tuesday and it would be further discussed at the forthcoming session of the National Security Committee with a view to formulating a comprehensive and unified response. “We will be engaging
with the US Administration with a view to ascertaining details of the
new policy.”
“As a partner, Pakistan has consistently supported international
efforts for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. It is clear that only an Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process can open such an opportunity,”
the ambassador added.
Replying to a question, Ambassador Chaudhry stated that it would
be hard to find a parallel for Pakistan’s commitment and success at countering terrorism. “Our leadership has repeatedly and categorically mentioned absence of tolerance and safe havens for any terrorist in Pakistan,” he said.
He said there was a nationwide consensus on ridding the country’s
soil of all terrorists and the threat they posed to the national security and economic well-being.
The Country Report on Terrorism released by the US State Department
in July also acknowledges that Pakistani military operations in Khyber
and North Waziristan eliminated significant number of militants and
removed safe havens for terrorist groups.
The report noted that as a result of continued military operations, terrorist-related violence in Pakistan declined for the second straight
year in 2016. According to South Asia Terrorism Portal, the number of terrorism-related civilian deaths in 2016 was approximately 600, far
lower than the peak years of 2012 and 2013, when terrorist acts killed
more than 3,000 civilians each year.
“Pakistan has and intends to remain constructively engaged with the international community, including the United States, in efforts geared
to durable peace, security and stability in the region,” the ambassador added.