Naveed Aman Khan
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson undertook his inaugural visit to Pakistan to urge Pakistan to step up counter militancy and counter terrorism efforts. For the first time in the history of Pak-US relationships it has been felt that Pakistan asserted its stance with equality, confidence and strength. It is clear that Pakistan in future will not follow any level of dictation from US or any other country. Now Pakistan will have to assert its strong footings for future sustainability. US- India -Afghanistan nexus against Pakistan, China and entire region is evident to all.
Rex Tillerson reiterated US President Trump’s message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists. Terrorism and terrorists are open danger for Pakistan and being responsible country how can Pakistan harbour terrorists? Let’s be united against our enemies. The only matter of concern for Pakistan is political unity and internal stability. The enemies are waiting for our weaker moment. Pakistan has long been suffering because of terrorism. For the elimination of terrorism Pakistan decided to commence military operations Zarb-i-Azb and Raddul Fasad in the country. It is an evidence that Pakistan is very serious and keen in elimination of terrorists.
Pakistan is under immense pressure on its eastern and western borders because of attacks from India and Afghanistan. Every now and then terrorists from Afghanistan attack Pakistan. Mastermind of Army Public School Peshawar incident Omer Mansoor was killed in Afghanistan by Afghan security Forces .It shows that terrorists reached Pakistan from Afghanistan and the mastermind was in the knowledge of Afghan authorities. This brutal incident of APS Peshawar was carried out by India using Afghan terrorists. Salala check post incident was another example of terrorism against Pakistan. Pakistan for its own security, survival and stability is active and vigilante against terrorists and terrorism. Now it is mandatory for Afghanistan and India to play their pivotal role against elimination of terrorism.
Pakistan -Afghanistan share 2611 km long border. Afghan government writ is on less than 50 % of Afghanistan. Pakistan has set up 975 check posts on Pak-Afghan border while Afghan check posts are 218.In Balochistan on 650 kms Pakistan still does not have posts. For border managements Pakistan is establishing 73 FC Wings. As many as 29 have been set up. Each wing consists of 700 to 800 armed troops while 700 forts have been constructed and fenced. On 43 kms 12 feet high fencing have been successfully completed. On 2075 kms fencing is being set up by Pakistan. This fencing for the purpose of security will cost 56 billion rupees to Pakistan In such circumstances what else Pakistan could do. Drone attacks on Pak territory remain unjustified. Drones are against international border laws and limitations. Sovereignty of Pakistan is not being honoured by US, Afghanistan and India. It is admitted fact that Pakistan’s important role to facilitate peace processes in Afghanistan would bring stability and security to the region. Peaceful and stable Afghanistan will mean peaceful and stable Pakistan. Elimination of terrorist groups which threaten peace of the entire region is need of time. Tillerson was told about steps Pakistan has taken to promote cooperation and stability in Afghanistan and the region, including enhancement of border security.
Prime Minister Abbasi told Tillerson that progress, peace and stability in the region was linked to the resolution of Pakistan’s territorial dispute with India over Kashmir. India Pakistan bilateral relationship has always been on roller coaster in their 70-year history. Before reaching Pakistan Rex Tillerson met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Bagram Air Field. Tillerson said that US Pakistan relationships will base on how Pakistan acts ahead and that the goal is to bring peace and stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, Tillerson discussed new US policy for South Asia. US has made it clear in terms of support for a sovereign, unified, and democratic Afghanistan, charting a path to peace, prosperity and self reliance.
Pakistan’s operations Zarb-i-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad were initiated by Pakistan itself to eliminate terrorism. Pakistan security and armed forces are already on hot pursuit of the suspects. Successfully Pakistan has controlled terrorism in the country. Doing more is the need of Pakistan itself which it is already doing. Pakistan is an independent, sovereign and responsible country. Pakistan’s countless efforts for the elimination of terrorism should be valued, regarded and acknowledged accordingly.
— The writer is political analyst and columnist based in Islamabad.
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