KARACHI: National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua has termed Afghanistan a wound of the world and the region that needs to be healed.
“Afghanistan is a story of pains … it is a story of injuries … it is a wound of the world and also of the region, which should be healed as quickly as possible,” Janjua told Lebanon-based news channel Al-Mayadeen in a recent interview.
The NSA said innocent people in both Afghanistan and Pakistan were suffering since the Soviet occupation of Kabul in 1979. But now, he added, peace was the only way forward.
“I know how to fight… we as a bold, brave, brilliant and beautiful nation we also know how to fight. But I’m a man who believes in peace,” he said.
“I’m a man who wants to invest in peace, because I believe that while war dictates the world order but parallel to that is also the peace which is actually evolving our world.”
Janjua said Post 9/11 Pakistan stood with the international community and not with those who inflicted the atrocious attack on the United States.
“…every investment has been made to win the Afghan war… unfortunately we have not invested in winning peace,” he said. “And that is how more than 40 percent of Afghanistan is controlled by Taliban.”
On the prevalent blame-game, he said: “It’s a strange moment in our history that the US and all others are blaming us that we are [supporting the militants].”
He added the Taliban accuse us of supporting the US and vice versa. “So both are blaming us, who’s right?”
Pakistan has lost over 60,000 lives in the war that followed the Afghan war, Janjua remarked, adding that it will continue to contribute towards peace across the Durand Line.
“If we were supporting the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqanis, why are we unable to use the influence to stop the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan from waging a war against us, as they have same grandmothers?,” he asked.
Asked if the Afghan conflict was a burden on Pakistan, the NSA said: “It’s a burden for the world, it’s a burden for the humanity … people of Afghanistan are not children of a lesser God, so are the people of Pakistan. Our heart cries out and it bleeds when we are misunderstood.”
‘If we can’t be friends, let’s not be enemies’
Commenting on relations with India, he said it was the “responsibility of mature nations to stay in touch and both of us [him and counterpart Ajit Doval] are committed to carry the relationship forward.
Both the national security advisers have met on several occasions in the past to normalise relations between the nuclear arch-rivals.
Terming the Kashmir issue the bone of contention between the two countries, he said he apprised Doval about brutalities being committed by the occupying forces in the territory.
“Two nuclear powers cannot remain enemies forever… because if that happens we will destroy each other, so should we be enemies forever? The answer is no. If the answer is no then where do we go?,” he remarked.
“Nuclear capability is a matter of survival for Pakistan. It is our compulsion that we have to defend ourselves. Our nuclear capability is only and only to defend our sovereignty… to defend our country. And we cannot accept that our sovereignty is under threat.”
Janjua said Pakistan was ready to talk on all issues, but unfortunately India was the one which defied talking. “I have to say that they have even defeated this bilateralism between the two of us. I do feel that for the responsible, credible, mature nations, the one way that they have to seek peace is by way of dialogue,” he added.
“The bottom line is if we can’t be friends, let’s not be enemies…”