Saturday, 06 June, 2020

Pakistan rejects role of 'scapegoat for U.S. failures' in Afghanistan

Christy Curtis | 26 August, 2017, 01:13

In a guarded response to President Trump's harsh criticism, the Minister highlighted the country's vast sacrifices in the enduring fight against terrorism and also expressed its continued desire to "work with the worldwide community to eliminate the menace of terrorism", a statement he issued after the meeting stated. Some US lawmakers have rallied behind Trump's call for stiffer action against Pakistan, including stringent measures like losing the major non-NATO ally status to the nuclear-powered country, cut in military aid among others.

The criticism came as a part of his speech outlining the new United States strategy to end the 16-year war in Afghanistan and bring peace and stability in the larger South Asian region. Trump sought a greater involvement from India while criticising Pakistan for tolerating terrorist safe havens and for its support to terrorists. "This must stop if we want to stabilise Afghanistan, we must deal first with Pakistan", he said.

The statement concluded that "Pakistan reiterates its view that there is no exclusive military solution to the crisis in Afghanistan".

"In the worst case", he said, the Pakistani government has been guilty of "active direct support" for terrorist groups, the media outlet reported.

The Pakistani analysts in this program say that the newly-announced United States strategy is not a new issue for the two neighboring countries.

All this drew a hurt response from Pakistan, which has been a USA ally since the Cold War, despite tensions over its rogue nuclear program and clashes with emerging great power India.

Tillerson was expanding on Trump's Monday speech that laid out the administration's approach to the war of nearly 16 years, which has claimed more than 2,000 U.S. lives and billions of dollars since it was launched by President George W. Bush in October 2001.

Majority disapproves of Trump's Charlottesville response
The poll surveyed adults across the country from August 16 to 20 through calls to their cell phones or land lines. While the approval numbers are low, they are similar to what they were before Charlottesville.

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".

Dismissing concerns over Indian development activities in Afghanistan, a Trump administration official has said Pakistan is using a perceived threat of encirclement by India as an "excuse" to continue its support to terrorists.

Leaving "would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda", Trump said, as he described an extended deliberative process with his national security staff about how to proceed in Afghanistan. "WOT", he said, referring to the war on terror.

"We expect the same from our neighbors", it said - a reference to Afghanistan and India.

The committee reiterated Pakistan's commitment that it will not allow its soil to be used for violence against any other country.

Pakistan estimates there have been 70,000 casualties in militant attacks, including 17,000 killed, since it joined the U.S.

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