WASHINGTON: Pakistan has not, and does not intend to, discuss the resumption of suspended security aid with the United States, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary said on Friday while briefing the US and Pakistani media.

The briefing, although intended to highlight Indian atrocities in held Kashmir, drifted to US-Pakistan ties and the Afghan dispute.

“From our side, we have not discussed this issue with the US administration at all,” said the envoy. “Pakistan does not want aid. It wants honour, dignity, respect and a recognition of what it has done, although we do recognise the suspension undermines our efforts to fight terrorism.”

The ambassador said that Pakistan had taken a position on this issue and now it was for the US government to take a decision. “We are quite committed to eliminating terrorism with our own resources.”

The Trump administration suspended its security aid to Pakistan in January this year, after President Donald Trump’s New Year tweet, accusing Pakistan of taking billions of dollars in aid but not doing enough to fight terrorism.

Mr Chaudhary said Pakistan also did not have any discussion with US officials on the claim that Islamabad had not done enough on the issue.

“We are talking about how to work better on Afghanistan, as both countries have a common objective, stabilise Afghanistan, not on Pakistan not doing enough,” he said.

Mr Chaudhary said that Pakistan was “very, very positively engaged” with the peace process initiated recently by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani because it believed “that’s the way to pursue”.

The ambassador rejected the allegation that the Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies did not have the same objective in Afghanistan as did the civilian government.

“This is totally baseless and even irresponsible,” said Mr Chaudhary, adding that in the Peshawar Army Public School attack, the militants killed the children of both military and intelligence officials.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2018

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