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WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s new envoy in Washington, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary, has said there’s no desire in the United States to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism as both countries want to continue their longstanding relationship.

But former president Asif Ali Zardari saw a clear breach of faith in the US-Pakistan partnership and urged Pakistan to carry more of its own weight while increasing military and commercial cooperation with its allies.

Talking to Pakistani journalists at the embassy on Friday afternoon, Ambassador Chaudhary emphasised the need for re-establishing a multilateral forum, like the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, for reviving the Afghan peace talks.

In a piece he wrote for the Forbes magazine, Mr Zardari noted that the United States had invested billions of dollars in Pakistan since 9/11 attacks, which brought greater stability in the country but the “well of goodwill from which we [Pakistan] can draw is not endless”.

Responding to a question at his briefing, Mr Chaudhary said there’s “a tiny minority” in Washington, which keeps raising this issue of declaring Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism “but the bulk of American polity sees Pakistan as a partner in the war against terrorism”.

Mr Zardari also saw a common ground and urged the United States to “continue to be Pakistan’s partner” as “the terrorists who attack our people are the same who attack Americans and other innocents,” he wrote. Ambassador Chaudhary and Mr Zardari both emphasised the historic nature of a multifaceted relationship between the US and Pakistan and both also hoped that the new administration in Washington would strengthen this partnership.

Mr Chaudhary linked this desire to recent developments in Pakistan, and pointed out that the country was on the verge of an economic take-off and it was in the interest of both countries to forge a closer relationship.

He noted that Pakistan had eliminated almost all terrorist safe havens from Fata [Federally Administered Tribal Areas], an achievement also appreciated by the US lawmakers and generals who have visited the area. The military operation in the area allowed more than 90 per cent of the internally displaced people to return home, he said.

Mr Chaudhary spoke about the Taliban terrorists slipping over to Afghanistan during Operation Zarb-i-Azb and how they keep coming back to Pakistan to attack schools, hospitals and shrines.

He described the temporary closure of Pak-Afghan border as part of a concerted plan for stopping the cross-border attacks. “This is border management, necessary to combat terrorists, not border closure,” he said and invited Afghanistan to jointly manage this border to stop cross-border attacks.

He referred to a recent meeting between Adviser on Foreign Affairs and Afghan National Security Adviser in London, which, he hoped, would lead to closer coordination between the governments in Islamabad and Kabul.

Mr Chaudhary said that Pakistan was well on its way to a future of peace and prosperity. “An improved security situation and the economic reforms have led to a revival of the economy which is now growing at the rate of 4.7pc. And all economic indicators are pointing upwards,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2017


Comments (20) Closed



amumiya Mar 19, 2017 09:40am

what counts is US senators statements,not our official personnel!

Jobolesonihaal Mar 19, 2017 09:45am

Let them say that first. Your statements are only making them sense your nervousness.

dr.arshad Mar 19, 2017 10:39am

@Jobolesonihaal ..... He wants to secure his job. What do you expect from a careerist/salaried functionary whose main concern is job, salary,perks and pension?

Nb Mar 19, 2017 11:03am

One thing has been realized by all. If Afghanistan becomes peaceful, then international role of Pakistan reduces substantially.

Dillagi singh Mar 19, 2017 11:56am

pakistanis keep talking to themselves! :) -- arrange meetings in their empty conference rooms of their embassy and talk to themselves and then to try to publish news stories as it it is "breaking news" !! :)

Honestly, who cares what pakistanis and pakistan thinks?! :) :)

Abbassin Mar 19, 2017 12:33pm

@Dillagi singh / And yet you could not help, and did comment on the article, which shows that there are lots of people like you who do care. My advice, please stay on your side of the fence, and leave us alone-we know how to sort out our issues.

John Mar 19, 2017 01:04pm

It won't happen in sooner in future. But eventually everyone knows the fate. Just visit any international forums.

dr.arshad Mar 19, 2017 01:00pm

@Abbassin ....Well said.Who called him here on a Pakistani forum?

Sagar Mar 19, 2017 01:00pm

You see small kids after watching a horror movie, repeatedly telling every one that they are not afraid of ghosts.

anwarsher Mar 19, 2017 01:05pm

Actually the desire is there but it is not strong enough at this point.

AK Mar 19, 2017 01:17pm

He looks so happy and honoured. This means business as usual.

Prateik Mar 19, 2017 01:26pm

Tiny minority can be a daunting majority tommorrow.

Indian Mar 19, 2017 02:26pm

No need to declare. Everyone knows it.

AKSHAY Mar 19, 2017 03:13pm

Sometimes the truth needs to hit you in the head before you realize it.

Tony Blair admitted it, lets see how much time these guys need.

Feroz Mar 19, 2017 05:41pm

Peace and prosperity will surely come if the country stops harboring terrorists.

Sana Mar 19, 2017 05:44pm

@dr.arshad mr doctor from whichever university no one needs to "call" anyone on an internet forum you probably don't know that given that you live and got your education in Pakistan have you as doctor heard of freedom of speech - or maybe that is an unfamiliar concept in your country Insulting someone for making a comment is low level and does not fit someone who calls themselves a doctor argue and debate- that is what this column is for

Sagar Mar 19, 2017 06:42pm

@Sana - wow Sana. Superb reply!

AB, US Mar 19, 2017 07:32pm

@Dillagi singh It was a great reply.

Avik Roy Mar 20, 2017 03:09am

@Abbassin No you don't know. If you knew how to solve your problems then Pakistan would have been a civilized country now.

Deepak Kumar Mar 20, 2017 08:21am

@Dillagi singh yeah, it happens like that.