WASHINGTON: The Pakistan Embassy in the U.S. rejected a report carried out by the New York Times (NYT) that blamed Pakistan for deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, adding such accusation would harm the reconciliation process in that country.
In a strong rejoinder to the editor, a spokesman for the embassy challenged the assertions made in the report titled “Pakistan’s Hands in the Rise of International Jihad” and drew the attention of the author to the world praise for Pakistan for its role in fighting global terrorism.
“The whole world, including American officials and military commanders, is praising Pakistan’s successful military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas,” the spokesman added.
He regretted that the author, instead of acknowledging Pakistan’s sincerity, was blaming the country which itself was the worst victim of terrorism due to deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.
“One has to fly really high on wings of imagination to link the escalating violence in Afghanistan with the presence of a few men hiding somewhere in Pakistan,” he observed.
The spokesman further said that the author’s reference to reports that Pakistan was responsible for the rise of ISIS in the Middle East ignored the increasingly complex regional politics.
“Likewise, her suggestion that Pakistan was involved in moving 300 Pakistani jihadists to the core of the ISIS fight is far-fetched.”
He said that putting blame on Pakistan for every ill of the world might rather be construed as yet another attempt to undermine the fledgling reconciliation process in Afghanistan, where Pakistan, together with China and the United States, was trying its best to bring peace to the region.
A US State Department spokesman, at a briefing on Thursday, described Pakistan as an important partner in the region in achieving a stable and secure Afghanistan.
He said that counter-terrorism operations by Pakistan reduced the ability of militants to use Pakistani territory to carry out terrorist attacks and as a base of support for insurgency in Afghanistan.
The spokesman also highlighted the fact that no country in the region had been more touched by terrorism than Pakistan.
He supported US security assistance to Pakistan and said the administration believed that it was in its vital national security interests to support Pakistan in carrying out its efforts to destroy terrorist networks.