Pakistan ‘disappointed’ by US reliance on ‘false narrative’

Published: August 23, 2017
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Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakara. PHOTO: AFP

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakara. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: US President Donald Trump’s speech, which was peppered with vainglorious rhetoric and veiled threats, ‘disappointed’ Pakistan, which advised Washington to work with Islamabad “instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens”.

In a new strategy to win America’s longest war, Trump accused Pakistan of “housing the very terrorists that we [Americans] are fighting” in Afghanistan. He ignored the contributions and sacrifices Pakistan has made in fighting terrorism.

“No country in the world has done more than Pakistan to counter the menace of terrorism.  No country in the world has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders,” the Foreign Office said in a statement following a crucial cabinet meeting that discussed the new American strategy.

“It is disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation in this effort,” it added.

It said Pakistan does not allow use of its territory against any country. “Instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, the US needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism.”

Pakistan has been accused by American and Afghan officials of harbouring terrorist sanctuaries – a charge Islamabad vehemently denies.

Trump lays down Afghan strategy, lambasts Pakistan for ‘harbouring terrorists’

Interestingly, Trump is trying a strategy that his predecessors, Barack Obama and George W Bush, tried and failed: a military victory in Afghanistan.

Pakistan, however, reiterated that “there is no exclusive military solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. The military action during the last 17 years has not brought peace to Afghanistan, and it is not likely to do so in the future”, the Foreign Office said and called for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.

“Only an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned politically negotiated solution can lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan,” it added.

According to the statement, the threat to peace and security could not be isolated from the complex interplay of geopolitics, continued existence of festering disputes and pursuit of hegemonic policies. Non-resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains the primary obstacle to peace and stability in the region.

Earlier in the cabinet meeting, it was decided to hold detailed consultations on the issue. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has already convened a meeting of the National Security Committee tomorrow (Thursday) to deliberate on the issue.

Moreover, government sources say diplomatic authorities have been tasked to mobilise ‘friendly’ states to garner support for Pakistan’s counterterror efforts.

Trump tough talk unlikely to move Pakistan

Pakistan is reaching out to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and China before issuing a detailed policy statement on Trump’s new Afghan strategy.  Premier Abbasi is expected to fly to Riyadh soon to seek the kingdom’s support in the existing situation.

Sources said foreign ministry officials, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua and representatives of security agencies briefed the cabinet members on the new US strategy and options available for Pakistan to deal with the situation.

Prior to the cabinet huddle, Premier Abbasi flew to Lahore to hold a meeting with his predecessor Nawaz Sharif at his mansion in Jati Umra. Speculations were rife that the two also discussed amending articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

However, a cabinet member insisted that they only discussed Trump’s Afghan strategy.  “He (Sharif) has remained prime minister thrice. So, the new premier often seeks guidance from his predecessor on different issues, especially those related to national security,” the cabinet member said.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • MA Beg
    Aug 23, 2017 - 12:43AM

    This sounds like further digging the hole we are already in. We need to come out.
    Why not focus on economic growth and welfare of people instead of playing geostrategic games? Recommend

  • Sexton
    Aug 23, 2017 - 12:57AM

    I do not know whether ET will print me, but Pakistan has been desperatey attempting to overcome the problems created by the US over the last 16 years.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Aug 23, 2017 - 1:04AM

    Quetta Sura is in Quetta. Recommend

  • Rb
    Aug 23, 2017 - 1:11AM

    Bro, the statement came following a cabinet meeting AFTER trump’s ‘announcement’.

    The ignorance of trumps statements is renowned worldwide. This is no different.Recommend

  • Vicky
    Aug 23, 2017 - 1:20AM

    Again….why don’t the world understand that Pakistan is the most innocent and Peace loving country.Recommend

  • Haider
    Aug 23, 2017 - 1:26AM

    This was expected and only the extension of policy which was started in Bush’s era. Pakistan needs to have a much harder stance. Highlight the covert operations jointly carried out by Raw and NDS. Emergence of ISIS in AFG right under the nose of ISAF. If that doesn’t stop Pakistan does reserve the right to protect herself and respond.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 23, 2017 - 2:36AM

    This has been Americas position for quite some time ….. Trump has not said anything astonishing or very different. At best Trump is rattling the saber, a sound Pakistan has heard before.Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Aug 23, 2017 - 2:56AM

    BBC had a nice documentary where they interviewed Taliban who openly discussed obtaining sanctuary, intel, weapons, and other assistance from Pakistani intelligence – unfortunately The Establishment banned those episodes from airing in Pakistan. Denying the obvious hasn’t helped Pakistan’s credibility – and these days credibility is priceless. Recommend

  • Bob Chandra
    Aug 23, 2017 - 2:57AM

    Inspite of so much criticism of Pakistan for its role in terrorist activities against India and Afghanistan by training and harbouring these same terrorists, Pakistan is still trying to fool the world by saying that it does not allow terrorists to use its soil for such terrorist acts against India and lately Afghanistan.Enough of your blatant lies time and again and please change your terror as a state weapon of Pakistan before its too late.Time is running out on you Pakistanis and forget your decades old policy of bleeding India with your jihad mentality.Also,India is marching forward with developments leaving you behind so far just because of terrorism from Pakistan.See if you can catch India and its vast developments in the next seventy years.Good Luck and just pray for survival in you terror infested bankrupt countryRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Aug 23, 2017 - 4:16AM

    For crying out loud, take this issue to Parliament and vote (like on Yemen etc)

    Khawaja Asif when he meets Tillerson should ask ONE QUESTION

    WHAT DO WE HAVE TO GAIN THAT WILL MAKE UP FOR THE 70,000 DEATHS AND $100BN OF LOSSES?

    That is the only info missing for a parliamentary debateRecommend

  • Kam
    Aug 23, 2017 - 4:30AM

    Trump has too much to deal with from North Korea to Russia and from china to Cuba and from Iran to Daesh and finally from Ivanka to Melania. Sit tight and let the storm pass he won’t think about Afghanistan for another 6 months.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 23, 2017 - 5:34AM

    And what exactly is Saudi gonna do ? They already gave Trump their highest ‘medal of honor’ when he visited there. Recommend

  • Nitin
    Aug 23, 2017 - 7:13AM

    “Pakistan has scarifies a lot in war on terror”
    DON’T play the same music again and again…. Understand WHY other peoples are still blaming you from all around the world last 10-15 years? Due to simply your double standard behavior! Recommend

  • Hasan
    Aug 23, 2017 - 8:09AM

    ok so this is how Trump is saving every penny via sanctions, to build his Mexico Wall.

    Has the US of A come to this ? Recommend

  • K B Kale
    Aug 23, 2017 - 8:13AM

    So, what’s new? Pakistan, by habit, denies every allegation!
    What does Pakistan say about harboring Osama bin Laden for some years in close proximity of Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad? Deny that also!Recommend

  • harkol
    Aug 23, 2017 - 10:11AM

    false narrative eh? World knows Dawood Ibrahim lives in Pakistan. Hafeez Saeed can even form a party. Masood Azhar is only protected because of China veto (while all other UN members consider him a terrorist). Then there is the case of Osama living nicely in Pakistan near an Army base.. Many Taliban & Haqani group lives a good life in Pakistan…

    What is the right narrative in all this?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Aug 23, 2017 - 10:36AM

    Why cant US help Pakistan to seal the border AND Pakistan ask for neutral observers – or is it just to please India to handle China and excuse for not talking – something learnt from India of make false excuses to avoid meaningful dialogue.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Aug 23, 2017 - 10:47AM

    @harkol: This is the tune India has been playing and is loved by US as it need India to ‘handle’ China – simple as that.

    Just on OBL, why it took 10 years if that was the case and why it is too difficult to seal the Afghnis border with tens of thousands of ISAF and others. Recommend

  • Sexton
    Aug 23, 2017 - 10:59AM

    @unbelievable:
    You are still talking nonsense. Who would ever believe the BBC? You will improve one day.Recommend

  • Sad but True
    Aug 23, 2017 - 3:31PM

    @Ahmed:
    Why should the US help you to seal the border? You have enough money to make bombs.Recommend

  • Dr. Ashraf KHAN
    Aug 23, 2017 - 4:15PM

    @ Bob Chandra,

    Obviously you speak language of hate as your Hindu nationalist leadership. This also wakeup call for you, either you accept freedom of Kashmiris or stay in chaos for rest of your life. India can’t deny fact that Kashmiris are making scarifies for their home land. Just blaming Pakistan as nation of terror for everything, can’t hide your evil politics in State of J&K. Your blame games is now an old story. Just to remind your so called progress is already doom; you are way below poverty level, even comparing with Bangladesh. Recommend

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