WASHINGTON: Ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Chaudhry said on Friday that Pakistan was not responsible for stability in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan suffers the most because of instability in Afghanistan and has the most to gain from peace in the country. We want to see peace there [Afghanistan] and so does the US. If we have the same purpose why is there suspicion on each other? Pakistan and US should work together to eliminate terrorism,” Chaudhry said.
The ambassador was reacting to US Vice President Mike Pence’s statement in Afghanistan regarding Trump putting “Pakistan on notice.” Speaking to American troops at Bagram Airbase, Pence said: “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our efforts in Afghanistan. The days to shelter terrorists have gone. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists.”
Earlier during an event, Chaudhry stressed that Pakistan had made great sacrifices in the war against terrorism and launched 13 military operations. A fact sheet presented on Pakistan’s sacrifices stated that the country had lost 21,000 Pakistanis including 6,800 soldiers in the war against terrorism.
According to Chaudhry, not acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices was worrisome. “The war on terrorism was imposed on us [Pakistan],” he said.
Pakistan issued stern responses to Pences’ statement. A press released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said allies do not put each other on notice. The Foreign Office emphasised that externalizing blame should be put on notice and the focus should be on peace and reconciliation mechanisms.