The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday warned against a "malicious campaign" being used to trivialise Pakistan's achievements in the war against terrorism, days after United States (US) President Donald Trump announced a new National Security Strategy (NSS) which is tough on Pakistan.

FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal during a weekly briefing rejected the "unfounded accusations" levelled against Islamabad by Trump in his announcement.

The US president had reminded Pakistan that it is obliged to help America because it receives "massive payments" from Washington every year.

"We have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory. And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help," said the US president.

The 56-page NSS document says that "the United States continues to face threats from transnational terrorists and militants operating from within Pakistan".

"We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts, since no partnership can survive a country’s support for militants and terrorists who target a partner’s own service members and officials," the document reads, adding: "We seek a Pakistan that is not engaged in destabilising behaviour."

Dr Faisal asserted that the accusations in the US NSS "belie facts on ground and trivialise Pakistan's efforts for fighting terrorism and our unmatched sacrifices to promote peace and stability in the region".

"It is because of Pakistan's cooperation with the international community, acknowledged and appreciated by the US leadership, that the Al Qaeda core was decimated from the region," the FO spokesperson said.

Despite its best efforts, the FO said that the country continues to suffer due to "state-sponsored terrorism funded and abetted by our neighbours through proxies" that are working against Pakistan.

"These proxies, consisting of individuals, organisations and intelligence agencies, are working against Pakistan at the behest of regional adversaries. The self-proclaimed guarantors of peace and phoney regional powers are pursuing this nefarious game of expansionism to the detriment of regional and global peace. Destabilising policies and actions by some countries to maintain their hegemony in pursuit of absolute power are responsible for instability in several parts of the world, including ours," the FO statement said.

Dr Faisal insisted that the Afghan soil is "constantly being used by elements hostile to Pakistan's stability", and urged Afghanistan to counter the growing threat posed to the region by the militant Islamic State (IS) group by destroying the outfit's "increasing safe havens" in the neighbouring country.

"Pakistan's efforts and sincere proposals for effective border management to prevent cross-border movement of militants and return of Afghan refugees are yet to make any headway," he added.

Dr Faisal also emphasised Pakistan's efforts towards reconstruction in Afghanistan, claiming that the Pakistani government had established three tertiary care hospitals in Jalalabad, Kabul and Nangarhar. In addition, he said, Pakistan had trained 69 Afghan health professionals, including doctors, nurses and paramedic staff in the past year. At least 59 health professionals have already completed their training and left for Afghanistan, he said.

Jadhav's family to visit soon

Referring to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the FO said that if the Indian Ministry of External Affairs agrees, Pakistan is willing to allow Jadhav's wife and mother to address the media upon their arrival in Pakistan.

The FO spokesperson said that Jadhav's mother and wife, who have been issued Pakistani visas, will arrive in Islamabad and meet the spy at the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Their itinerary was not disclosed.

'Political solution for Yemen-Saudi conflict'

Dr Faisal reiterated Pakistan's support for Saudi Arabia and condemned a recent missile attack on Riyadh, carried out by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeting the official residence of Saudi King Salman.

The missile was intercepted by the Saudi-led coalition before any damage could be done. It is the second missile fired by the Houthis — who seized the Yemeni capital in 2014 — at Riyadh in the past two months.

However, as the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen poses a danger to the security of the entire region, the FO spokesperson insisted on a political resolution to the standoff.



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