ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday called the remarks of US President Donald Trump as disappointing, saying Pakistan has given innumerable sacrifices in the war against terrorism to maintain stability and peace in the region.
“Pakistan is collaborating with international community and playing a vital role in establishing peace. Our people, armed forces, law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) and police have given sacrifices and country’s economy suffered huge financial losses,” he said.
The minister was addressing a ceremony where newly established Anti-Riot Unit (ARU) of the Islamabad Police demonstrated their skills in different formations.
Referring to the tweet of the US president, the minister said: “It amounts to making a mockery of sacrifices of Pakistan in the war against terrorism.”
“Pakistan is still struggling to cope with the consequences of the US policies in the region,” the interior minister said and added, “The US policies are to be blamed for radicalisation, proliferation of weapons and drugs, terrorism, extremism and poverty in the region.”
He said Pakistan was the biggest stakeholder of peace in Afghanistan and wanted elimination of terrorism from that country.
He questioned as to what the United States has done for Pakistan-based millions of Afghan refugees.
The ARU, comprising 2,000 personnel would deal with protests and sit-ins in future in the federal capital.
The demonstration ceremony was attended by Inspector General of Police (IGP), Islamabad, Sultan Azam Taimuri, Chief Commissioner Islamabad, officers and officials of Islamabad police.
Iqbal said Pakistanis were honourable and dignified nation and no one had the right to raise finger on their dignity.
He said the successful operation of Pakistan’s security forces had weakened networks of terrorists who were on the run and added no country had greater stake in Afghanistan’s peace than Pakistan.
“We made National Action Plan (NAP) and launched a full-fledged operation against terrorists in the country,” he said.
“I want to make it clear to US: Pakistan is collecting those thorns which were thrown or spread by US,” he said.
Congratulating the ARU of Islamabad Police on completion of training of 586 personnel in first phase, Ahsan Iqbal said ARU was proposed to be formed to ensure law and order in Islamabad.
Iqbal said police were not only doing its own duty but also playing a vital role in development of the country.
He said it was the police which performed its duty day and night so that citizens could sleep without any fear. “We are proud of the services and sacrifices of our police,” he added.
The interior minister said police vehicles were being equipped with modern gadgets and deployment of additional staff being ensured so that monitoring system under safe city project could be further strengthened.
He said the Islamabad Police should take the lead in the country for police reforms to adopt smart and community policing.
He said the first batch of Rapid Response Force which has been imparted training to keep them abreast with security challenges, would be rolled out soon.
Iqbal lamented that billions of rupees had been spent on the Safe City Project but due to lack of human resource in the control room, the project had been reduced to a mere recording system.
He said the project would be provided supply of human resources to strengthen its control room and would be expanded with monitoring at zonal level to expedite the response mechanism.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has directed for issuance of official passports to members of the provincial assemblies, chairmen of district councils and mayors of metropolitan corporations.
The matter had been pending since long despite resolutions of the provincial assemblies in this regard.
With additional input from our correspondent in Islamabad
As a result, Iqbal said, the menace of drug culture and terrorism were left behind in Pakistan. “And it is Pakistan that is having to deal with the problems left behind by the United States.”
No one has sacrificed more compared to Pakistan for achieving peace in the region, the minister added. “Instead of pointing the finger at us they must do some introspection themselves.”
While talking about Pakistan’s resolve to bring peace to Afghanistan, Iqbal said: “Bringing an end to terrorism in Afghanistan is one of our priorities.”