ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and its armed forces did not fight the war on terror for the sake of money, while the misunderstanding between United States and Pakistan are created by India.
This was stated by Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday while speaking exclusively to ARY News program ‘Off the Record’ hosted by anchor Kashif Abbasi.
“Pakistan and its armed forces did not fight for money. We did everything and anything for regional peace,” he said adding that financial amount received is insignificant compared to the efforts and sacrifices by Pakistan.
He said Pakistan received less than one percent as part of the coalition support fund (CSF) of the money which the US disbursed while the remaining was spent on Afghanistan since the last seventeen years.
“It is not the money which matter. Rather it is work which Pakistan did on ground,” he said adding that the achievements inside Pakistan and the border regions can be seen and compared to Afghanistan.
Major-General Ghafoor was asked on his comments that the US claims to given $33bn to Pakistan and spent $860bn on Afghanistan, and over half of Afghanistan was still controlled or under influence of the Afghan Taliban, yet Pakistan was being blamed for it.
“Yes it hurts,” he said but adding that the US-led war on terror was not Pakistan’s war initially but became as it was directly affected by it, and still worked tirelessly for regional peace.
He said that Pakistan single-handedly, without the presence of a single foreign boot on the ground, fought the war on terrorism, while on the Afghan side the presence of armed forces from fifty nations worked.
Indian role is the biggest obstacle to regional peace
He said the US faced immense challenges fighting a war in a foreign land with a different culture and society, but should fully understand the regional dynamics and whether other vested powers wanted it to succeed in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan would like to see US succeed in Afghanistan. That is why we have cooperated and we have helped,” he said adding that peace is Afghanistan will lead to durable peace in Pakistan as well.
When asked about the increasing influence of India and its efforts to be the policeman and impact on regional peace, DG ISPR said that Indian influence was the biggest obstacle in regional peace.
“No one can dictate us our role in regional security. We are a responsible nation. We will continue to play our role, and Indian destablising role is the biggest obstacle for regional peace.”
“The current misunderstanding between Pakistan and the US is created by India,” he said adding the role of Indian lobbies and Indian-origin personalities is responsible, a reference to US envoy to United Nations Nikki Haley.
Pakistan will not compromise on self-respect
Maj-General Ghafoor refused to comment on the statements of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on ‘put the house in order’ and the negative impression of Pakistan around the world.
However, he said that there needs to be unity among all political parties on the regional threats posed to Pakistan on all fronts. He appreciated the efforts of the government and the stance adopted by the National Security Committee which held a crucial meeting yesterday and also the statement by Nawaz Sharif over the aggressive stance by US.
“We wish to move forward with cooperative engagement with all peace-loving partners including US, but we will not compromise on our self-respect.”
He also refused to comment of statement of ‘political engineering’ by Nawaz Sharif saying the ongoing year was an election year and political parties give such statements, while the army has nothing to do with politics.
“We are passing through a time where there are a lot of challenges, on the eastern and western border, internal security, and this is the time the nation should stand behind its security forces.”