Pakistan in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s South Asia Strategy, rejected allegations it is harboring Taliban militants who are staging deadly attacks against American forces in Afghanistan.
The rebuttal was came on Thursday in statement of Pakistan’s foreign Affairs Ministry, following a meeting the National Security Committee of top civilian and military leaders chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad.
“The Afghan war cannot be fought in Pakistan… To scapegoat Pakistan will not help in stabilizing Afghanistan,” the statement said.
President Trump in his policy speech Monday said that Pakistan is taking billions of dollars from the United States but housing the very terrorists attacking U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
“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,” the statement said.
“We would like to see effective and immediate U.S. military efforts to eliminate sanctuaries harboring terrorists and miscreants on the Afghan soil including those responsible for fomenting terror in Pakistan,” the statement noted.
“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,” it added.
The statement further added that Islamabad has consistently worked with both Washington and Kabul to promote peace through a “politically negotiated outcome” as best option to bring stability in the neighboring country.
Pakistan’s response to U.S. new strategy comes a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that the U.S. strategy provides an opportunity for Pakistan to change its policy towards Afghanistan.
“Now a consensus was reached that Pakistan should change its behavior,” Ghani said. “It is an opportunity for [Pakistan].”