RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa received two telephone calls from Commander US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Joseph L. Votel and one from a US Senator over the week to discuss Pak-US security cooperation post the President Trump tweet, said a statement issued by the ISPR.
According to the statement, the Pakistani nation felt betrayed over the recent statements of the US despite decades of cooperation.
Comd USCENTCOM & a US Senator telephoned COAS to discuss security coop post POTUS tweet. “Entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed on trivialising our decade old cooperation. We won’t ask for restoration of financial assistance but honourable recognition of our contributions”, COAS. pic.twitter.com/oHEQGGvyIf
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) January 12, 2018
“General Joseph L. Votel apprised COAS about the US decision regarding Security Assistance and Coalition Support Fund,” read the statement. “The General said that US values Pakistan’s role towards war on terror and expected that on-going turbulence remains a temporary phase. He also conveyed [to the] COAS that US is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan but is seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals who, in US view, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan.”
According to the COAS, this view was undermining Pakistan’s contributions in the war against terrorism in Washington. “COAS said that entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed over US recent statements despite decades of cooperation,” said the statement. “Accordingly unanimous national response reflected the same sentiments.”
The COAS said that Pakistan shall continue its sincere counter terrorism efforts even without US financial support in accordance with our national interest and shall remain committed to bring it to its logical conclusion along with other stakeholders. COAS said that Pakistan has suffered hugely due to great power contest in the region. He said that Pakistan is fully aware of US concerns on activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan.
“We are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation Raddul Fasaad to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan Refugees is an essential prerequisite,” he said. “Pakistan is also strengthening border controls unilaterally but if Afghanistan genuinely feels affected from Pakistan, bilateral border management must be Kabul’s top priority as well.”
The COAS reiterated that Pakistan will not seek resumption of aid but expect honourable recognition of our contributions, sacrifices and unwavering resolve in fight against terrorism for peace and stability in the region. COAS further said that Pakistan will keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan despite the tendency to scapegoat Pakistan, as peace in Afghanistan is the only way to move towards enduring peace and stability in the region.
General Joseph L. Votel acknowledged the effectiveness of some of the recent actions taken by Pakistan to ensure that Pakistan’s hospitality to Afghan Refugees is not misused in anyway. General Joseph L. Votel agreed that both countries stand to gain from cooperative engagement.
Story first published: 12th January 2018