Sartaj Aziz statement on militant groups taken out of context: FO

Published November 18, 2014
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam. — Photo: Press Information Department
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam. — Photo: Press Information Department

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday clarified that a statement made by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz was reported out of context.

“The advisor made the statement in a historical context,“ FO spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in a statement.

A day earlier, Aziz told BBC Urdu in an interview that Pakistan was not going to target militant groups that do not “pose a threat to the state“ — a statement that received harsh criticism by political rivals and on social media. The country's premier spy agency has long been accused of harbouring the “good“ and “bad“ Taliban narrative.

Read: The 'two' Taliban

“As for [the] present, Pakistan has launched operation Zarb-i-Azb and taking action against all groups without any distinction or discrimination,” Tasneem Aslam, foreign office spokesperson, said in a statement.

She added that Sartaj Aziz's interview with BBC's Urdu service has created confusion in the official stance of the country. Pakistan’s policy and actions should be seen in the light of its commitment in fighting terrorism in all forms and manifestations, she added.

Read: Militants not dangerous to Pakistan should not be targeted, says Sartaj

Aziz had said that Pakistan should not target militants who do not threaten the country’s security. “Why should America’s enemies unnecessarily become our enemies,” he said.

“When the United States attacked Afghanistan, all those that were trained and armed were pushed towards us,” the adviser had said, adding that some of the militants were dangerous for Pakistan and some were not. “Why must we make enemies out of them all?” he added.

Aziz went on to say that Afghan Taliban were Afghanistan’s problem and that Haqqani Network was a part of it.

The development comes at a time when Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif was on a visit to the US and operation Zarb-i-Azb commander Major General Zafarullah Khan had recently stated that the military was targetting all local and foreign militants.

Opinion

Big win, bigger challenges
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Big win, bigger challenges

Pakistan should be smug. It is not. There are a number of likely scenarios that must be the source of its unease.
Power of stays
19 Sep 2021

Power of stays

Great power means no one dare ask you questions.
Local decay
18 Sep 2021

Local decay

The set-up in Sindh exercises total control over LG functions.

Editorial

Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...
Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...