Nisar deplores US lawmakers’ tirade against Pakistan

July 15, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan talks to US Ambassador David Hale during a meeting on Thursday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan talks to US Ambassador David Hale during a meeting on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday expressed his serious reservations over the assertions by some US congressmen and officials about Pakistan’s role in the war on terror.

“It is regrettable that the US parliamentarians have neither realisation nor awareness about the heavy price paid by Pakistan and Pakistanis in this war,” he told US Ambassador David Hale who called on him here.

Chaudhry Nisar said such statements evoked a strong reaction in Pakistan and warned that the trend of accusations and uncalled-for criticism over Pakistan’s sincere efforts for a durable peace in the region might create hindrance in the way of achieving mutual interests.

The minister said the successes achieved against terrorism were reflective of the serious efforts made by Pakistan for a secure future of the entire region.

Ambassador Hale said the US government acknowle­dged the gains made against terrorism, particularly in the Zarb-i-Azb military operation, and the efforts being made by Pakistan for peace in the region.

He praised the role played and steps taken by the interior ministry and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the areas of security and immigration.

Pak-US relations, regional situation and cooperation between the two countries in diverse areas, including security, came under discussion during the meeting.

Meanwhile, the interior minister said that Pakistan, at all levels, was committed to thwarting all conspiracies against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

“Both sides must be cautious about regional and global powers who do not want to see the CPEC becoming a reality for their own interests,” he said during a high-powered meeting with visiting Minister for State Security, Peoples Republic of China, Geng Huichang.

Chaudhry Nisar maintained that “secure and successful completion of the CPEC would add new dimensions to our friendship cementing our economic as well as strategic bond”. He noted that the CEPC would also help Pakistan and China expand their trade footprint in the region and beyond.

“The CPEC is not only a flagship project between the two countries, it also focuses on strategic depth of the Pak-China relationship,” he remarked.

About the security of Chinese citizens working across Pakistan in different development projects, including the CPEC, the interior minister pointed out that a special security division was already working under the army to secure the lives of Chinese workers.

Chinese Minister of State Security Geng Huichang appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against terrorism, especially the gains achieved under the Zarb-i-Azb operation.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2016