Foreign Office clarifies Sartaj Aziz statement on ties with militant groups

Published: November 18, 2014
Foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam. PHOTO: PID

Foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Clarifying an earlier statement of the prime minister’s senior aide, Sartaj Aziz, the Foreign Office on Tuesday said Aziz had made the statement in a “historical context.”

The statement comes a day after the adviser to the prime minister on national security and foreign affairs in an interview to BBC Urdu disapproved the conventional wisdom of indiscriminately targeting all shades of militants in the ongoing military operations in the tribal regions, arguing in favour of a more selective approach.

“Why should Pakistan target those who do not pose any threat to its security?” asked Aziz, arguing, “The enemies of [the United States of] America have become enemies of Pakistan for no reason.”

Referring to his statements, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam affirmed Pakistan’s commitment to fight all militants and said, “Pakistan has launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb and is taking action against all groups without any distinction and discrimination.”

“Pakistan’s policy and actions should be seen in the light of its commitment to fight terrorism in all forms and manifestations,” the spokesperson emphasised.


PM’s senior aide, Sartaj Aziz, believes Pakistan should not target all militant groups. Do you agree?

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Hedgefunder
    Nov 18, 2014 - 5:41PM

    That’s right ! Go into denial mode as usual !
    Just who is responsible for policy making decisions in the country ?
    I think the people of Pakistan deserve to know this !


  • Candid1
    Nov 18, 2014 - 6:03PM

    Instead of providing backtracking excuses, Sartaj Aziz must provide his resignation. If he fails to do so, then Nawaz Sharif should fire him. And if Nawaz Sharif fails to do so, then he is just the ineffective PM that everyone says he is, and he himself should resign.


  • Hasan
    Nov 18, 2014 - 6:37PM

    Wise decision by Govt and Foreign Office. We must diffrentiate between enemy and friends. If someone has really changed. They should be allowed a second attempt at life. Humanity first. Nevertheless they should be montiered closely.


  • objective observer
    Nov 18, 2014 - 6:44PM

    The man specifically said the enemies of the USA have become the enemies of Pakistan for no reason. That is a present tense statement not a past tense statement.

    What a joke.


  • Zarb-e-Azb
    Nov 18, 2014 - 8:30PM

    Sir! I am not totally satisfied with your reasoning, Could you just give only One answer: Does the Pak Army eradication program Zarb-e-azb have FULL support and blessing of PM Nawaz?

    Also! Why our leaders almost always surprise us in their interviews with The BBC?


  • Shakil
    Nov 18, 2014 - 8:33PM

    This clearly shows that the Government and Army are not on same page. A miltant/extemist is a enemy of Islam and Pakistan. If you be friend with them one day they will kill you. This is what has been happening with Pakistan. These politicians for cheap publicity would say any thing without making any sence. They do not care if innocent people are being killed.


  • syed baqar ahsan
    Nov 18, 2014 - 8:58PM

    Very smart question asked above-those who have said Yes – Every one who reach to his life start speaking truth same is true for Sartaj Aziz,he was never so realistic ever before.


  • Asim
    Nov 18, 2014 - 9:39PM

    The sad thing is there are still people like these on higher ranks.


  • Last Word
    Nov 18, 2014 - 10:08PM

    Madam, the damage is already done and this clarification may not serve any purpose. Aziz’s statement will serve as a much awaited proof by India who had always accused Pakistan of using friendly proxies against it which has been denied by the latter for several decades.


  • jamshed kharian-pak
    Nov 19, 2014 - 2:46AM

    Foreign Office is no more in Islamic Republic Of Pakistan, this seat is also held by Nawaz, Go Nawaz Go


  • Prakash
    Nov 19, 2014 - 4:10AM

    Anybody can see what Mr Sartaj Aziz has said in the interview, so why Foreign Office has to put his own spin on his boss statement.Mr Sartaj Aziz was the person who during the Kargil Misadventure was telling the lie to the whole world that Pakistan is not involved in Kargil war.


  • AVMPolpot
    Nov 19, 2014 - 8:21AM

    Clarification vs Rectification
    Sartaz Aziz: We will not act against some terrorists.
    FO: We will act against all terrorists.
    Is that clarification or rectification/retraction?


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