Pakistan using India as excuse to support terrorist groups

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 24, 2017

Asif said Pakistan had suffered great losses from militancy - the government estimates there have been 70,000 casualties in militant attacks, including 17,000 Pakistanis killed - since Pakistan joined the usa "war on terrorism" after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The official also said that with Pakistan the "business as usual, as it has been up to now is over".

"The amount of aid and military assistance we give them, their status as non-NATO alliance partner - all of that can be put on the table", he said.

Hailing Donald Trump's new tough line against Pakistan, top U.S. lawmakers have demanded that Islamabad be designated a "state sponsor of terrorism" and its major non-NATO ally status be revoked to force it stop from supporting terrorist groups.

Commenting on the speech of President Trump in which he outlined the new United States 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. He said the president had benefited from an outsider's perspective on the US-Pakistan relationship, eschewing the conventional wisdom that "however much the Pakistanis double-deal you and lie to you and don't cooperate, you have no choice but to just keep the status quo".

Trump promised to step up military efforts against the Taliban in Afghanistan in a televised addressed on Monday. More than 8,400 USA troops remain in Afghanistan with an additional 5,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces. India also makes similar charges against Pakistan. "Instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, the US needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism", it stated.

"No country in the world has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders".

But he said Pakistan's efforts to fight terrorism were being taken for granted and dismissed the notion the United States could "win war against terror by threatening us or cornering us". As a matter of policy, Pakistan does not allow use of its territory against any country.

Islamabad pointed out that there was "no exclusive solution" to the conflict in Afghanistan. The military action during the last 17 years has not brought peace to Afghanistan, and it is not likely to do so in the future.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif added his voice to a chorus of indignation over the US criticism, reiterating Pakistan's denial that it harbours militants. It has claimed the lives of around 2,400 USA soldiers, but so far failed to put an end to the Taliban.

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.

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