ISLAMABAD: A National Security Committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reached consensus Tuesday that despite all unwarranted allegations, Pakistan cannot act in haste and will remain committed to playing a constructive role towards an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, ARY News reported.
The meeting called after US President Donald Trump’s Monday tweet in which he threatened to stop all “aid” to Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of harbouring terrorists US is hunting in Afghanistan.
The committee reaffirmed that Pakistanis are a people who hold dear their national pride, who are capable of defending their country, and who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to counter terrorism and to work for regional peace and stability.
The committee, however, noted its deep disappointment with some of the “recent statements articulated by the American leadership”.
The committee observed that the close interaction with the US leadership followingthe initial pronouncement of President Trump’s policy on South Asia had been useful in creating a better understandingof each other’s perspectives on the best way forward to achieve durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“The visits of Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Mattis were also seen by the committee as robust and forward-looking. The committee observed that given this positive direction of progression, recent statements and articulation by the American leadership were completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts manifestly, struck with great insensitivity at the trust between two nations built over generations, and negated the decades of sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation,” reads the statement issued after the high-level meeting.
The participants noted that over the past several years, Pakistan’s counter terrorism campaign has served as a bulwark against possible expansion of scores of terrorist organizations currently present in Afghanistan- a fact acknowledged by US authorities at the highest levels. Most of these terrorists have repeatedly launched cross border attacks against innocent Pakistanis with impunity by exploiting presence of millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, a porous Pak-Afghan border and large tracts of ungoverned spaces inside Afghanistan.
The committee observed that Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism primarily out of its own resources and at a great cost to its economy, and that even more importantly the huge sacrifices made by Pakistan, including the loss of tens of thousands of lives of Pakistani civilians and security personnel,
“The pain of their (martyrs’) families, could not be trivialised so heartlessly by pushing all of it behind a monetary value – and that too an imagined one,” says the statement.
The committee further noted that even today Pakistan was firmly supporting the US-led international effort in Afghanistan; that it was continuously facilitating this through vital lines of communications for smooth counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan by the international coalition; that as a result of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism cooperation, Al-Qaeda had been decimated from the region; and that it was mostly because of this support that Pakistan was suffering a brutal backlash, including the killing of hundred of its schoolchildren by terrorists based in Afghanistan.