MOSCOW: United States (US) President Donald Trump’s Pakistan statement, has rallied China and Russia to oppose the new US strategy to end conflict in war-torn Afghanistan.
The US president, in a televised address, had accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists while slamming his country’s former major ally for going too easy on terrorists on its soil.
Beijing and Moscow came forward to Pakistan’s defense as Trump unveiled the new strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and South Asia.
Russia echoed a defensive sentiment on Tuesday for Pakistan after Trump’s speech.
Speaking to Russia’s Afghanistan daily, Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov slammed Trump’s criticism of Pakistan and emphasised that Islamabad is a key regional player to negotiate with.
He opined that putting pressure on Pakistan may seriously destabilize the region-wide security situation, resulting in negative consequences for Afghanistan.
On the other side, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying defended Pakistan and lauded her country’s all-weather friend for its efforts and great sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.
The spokesperson also called upon the international community to fully recognise Islamabad’s endeavours against terrorism.
China State Councillor Yang Jiechi told Tillerson Wednesday that “we should attach importance to the important role that Pakistan plays in the Afghanistan issue, respect (Pakistan’s) sovereignty and legitimate security concerns,” according to a foreign ministry statement.
It is the second time Beijing has defended its South Asian neighbour this week, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying praising Pakistan on Tuesday for making “great sacrifices and contributions to fighting terrorism”.
Beijing is investing around $50 billion in Pakistan as part of a plan unveiled in 2015 to link its far-western Xinjiang region to the Pakistani port of Gwadar in Balochistan province.
Yang said Beijing was committed to “advancing the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan” and that political dialogue was “the only way to solve the Afghanistan problem”.
He added that “China would like to continue to maintain communication and coordination on the Afghanistan problem with the US side”.
With additional input from AFP