ISLAMABAD, April 2: Pakistan on Wednesday advised the United States to refrain from creating an impression of ‘divergences’ on counter-terrorism and speaking about direct action in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The US government was also cautioned that any unilateral action could undermine and complicate the fight against terrorism.
“Such actions, as we have already stated, will be irresponsible and dangerous,” said the Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Sadiq.
“For the success of our counter-terrorism efforts, it is important to focus on effective cooperation … rather than talking about actions that would further complicate our … efforts to fight Al Qaeda and other terrorists.”
The spokesman said that Pakistan and the US remained partners in the international campaign against terrorism.
His remarks come in the wake of US government’s doubts expressed by some circles in the United States about the commitment of the new Pakistan government to the war against terrorism, especially after Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s offer to hold talks with militants who renounce violence.
According to reports in the American media, the US has intensified direct strikes in tribal areas on terrorist targets because of apprehensions that the new government in Islamabad would not allow such attacks.
Mr Sadiq said Pakistan remained deeply concerned about the possibility of any terrorist entity establishing sanctuary or regrouping in the Pakistani territory.
“We are combating terrorism in our own interest. We do not want our efforts to be undermined by any ill-conceived action from any quarter that is inconsistent with principles of international law. Such actions would be deeply resented in the tribal areas and generally in Pakistan,” the spokesman said.
He said that cooperation with the US and its allies was well-defined and well-understood.
“If any country has any specific, actionable intelligence, it should be communicated to us (Pakistan) and our own security forces would take action,” he added.
Mr Sadiq said Pakistan believed that a comprehensive strategy, including political and social development components, was essential for success in counter-terrorism endeavours.
COMPOSITE DIALOGUE: Talks will be held in a few weeks to finalise dates for the foreign secretary level meetings between India and Pakistan to conclude the fourth round of the composite dialogue and initiate the fifth round. The schedule, the spokesman said, would be announced in a few days.
About the Pakistan-India Judicial Committee on Prisoners, he said that lists of prisoners had been exchanged and the committee would meet later this month in Islamabad.
NUCLEAR WASTE DUMPING: The spokesman dismissed as baseless allegations levelled by an Afghan minister that Pakistan had dumped nuclear waste in Afghanistan during the Taliban era. He said the matter was being taken up with the Afghan government by Pakistani charge de affairs in Kabul.
Disposal of nuclear waste, Mr Sadiq said, was strictly regulated in accordance with international standards.
“Our nuclear power stations are under IAEA safeguards which not only keep an oversight on their operations but also on storage of nuclear waste which has to be fully accounted for,” he added.