ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistani civil, military and intelligence officials on Wednesday briefed ambassadors posted in Islamabad about the country’s achievements in the fight against terrorism in a rare move that came against the backdrop of increased US pressure to do more.
Except India, all ambassadors and heads of missions stationed in the federal capital were invited at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to apprise them about Pakistan’s enormous sacrifices in the anti-terror fight as well as the threat posed by external elements -- including Indian secret services.
Although, the Foreign Office often organised such briefings for foreign diplomats, this was the first time that the diplomats were given briefing jointly by the foreign minister, foreign secretary, chief of general staff (CGS), Director General Military Operation (DGMO) and Director General Military Intelligence (MI).
The briefing was arranged to dispel the oft-repeated allegations against Pakistan that it was not doing enough in the fight against terrorism and that it had spared groups such as the Haqqani network.
Representatives from the US embassy were also in attendance.
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Since the start of the new year, the Trump administration has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to take decisive action against alleged hideouts of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network. Washington also suspended the entire security assistance to Pakistan as a punitive measure for its alleged lack of action against certain militant groups.
Pakistan has denied the charges of double play and emphasised that its achievements and sacrifices in the anti-terror war have no parallel.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office said senior civil and military officials briefed the foreign diplomats on Pakistan’s achievements and challenges in counterterrorism efforts, and combating violent extremism, unprecedented escalations of Indian ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary, and the gross Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir.
Welcoming the participants, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif stated that the briefing had been arranged to inform the diplomatic corps about the massive counterterrorism efforts that Pakistan had undertaken in the last 16 years, more so the developments in the last 4 years.
They were provided details about the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fassad which had eliminated terrorist presence in Pakistan.
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They were also briefed about the terrorist threat emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure in Pakistan.
“Details were also provided on how Indian belligerence and unhelpful posturing is distracting Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts and how an active RAW/NDS nexus is verifiably working to undermine Pakistan’s internal stability,” according to the Foreign Office.
Ambassadors were shown evidence of an Indian campaign of unprecedented ceasefire violations, provocations and insinuations -- including terrorism in the form of IED attacks against innocent civilians on the Pakistan side of the LoC and the Working Boundary. These Indian activities constitute an unfortunate ‘New Normal’ aimed at destabilising the entire region.
The members of the diplomatic corps, according to the Foreign Office, condoled the loss of human lives in the terrorist attack in Quetta on Tuesday. The Chief of General Staff thanked them and informed the diplomatic corps that Tuesday’s terrorist attack had been traced back to Afghanistan.
The comprehensive and detailed briefing by the civil and military leadership was appreciated by members of the diplomatic corps.