COAS urges US not to blame Pakistan for its failures

Published February 18, 2018
Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa gives his speech on day two of the 54th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 17, 2018. —AFP
Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa gives his speech on day two of the 54th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 17, 2018. —AFP

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa on Saturday asked the US to stop blaming Pakistan for its problems in Afghanistan and instead search for the reasons for its failures.

He was speaking at the Munich Security Conference where military chiefs and civilian leaders have gathered to discuss the world’s most pressing security issues. The conference is a three-day event.

Tensions between Islamabad and Washington intensified after the announcement of Trump administration’s strategy for South Asia and Afghanistan, which was very critical of Pakistan for its alleged inaction against terrorist sanctuaries allegedly used for sustaining the insurgency in Afghanistan.

A bilateral engagement process started afterwards to find common ground, but the National Security Strategy document unveiled by the US, President Trump’s New Year’s Day tweet, and suspension of security aid left little doubt that the extensive Pak-US talks had failed to resolve the differences.

Almost at the same time as suspension of security aid, Pentagon quietly opened another channel with the GHQ over the problems in security cooperation. The GHQ later shared broader sense of conversations with US Centcom Commander Gen Joseph Votel and an unnamed American senator.

It is widely believed the GHQ is running a secret dialogue with the US. Recently, at the corps commanders’ conference the military’s top brass had signalled its desire for cooperation with the US.

In Munich the army chief again categorically denied the existence of terrorist sanctuaries on the country’s soil and recalled the steps taken to prevent unauthorised movements across the porous border.

Gen Bajwa said that Pakistan was being attacked from terrorist hideouts on Afghan soil. He also emphasised the need for repatriation of 2.7 million Afghan refugees currently residing in Pakistan.

Pointing to the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Islamic State safe havens, he said terrorists had established sanctuaries on the Afghan soil along the border with Pakistan.

Gen Bajwa said Pakistan had rendered a lot of sacrifices for defeating terrorism. He also underscored the importance of international cooperation against terrorism.

Speaking about the operations launched in the country against terrorists, he said that besides kinetic operations, a lot of emphasis had been put on cutting off their financial sources.

He said Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations were being carried out under a National Action Plan.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...
A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...