KARACHI : Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor has said that United States’ threats against Pakistan can harm the existing coordination and cooperation between the two countries.
This he said while speaking to a private news channel here.
While commenting on US warning that Donald Trump has “put Pakistan on notice”, Ghafoor said the state responds to such statements through diplomatic and Foreign Office channels. He, however, made it clear that such threats can “negatively affect” the existing cooperation.
Talking about the issue of US payments to Pakistan, he said that the payments were made under the Coalition Support Fund, which in its essence was “reimbursement” of the amount Pakistan had already spent in the war against terrorism, “under their [the US] coordination”.
“If they [the US] demand us to fight for them because they paid us, [then they should know that] Pakistan is not fighting for money,” he said. “We are not looking for any money, we are not for sale, a trust-based relationship is the only way forward,” he added.
He highlighted that Pakistan has significantly been cooperating with the United States in the war against terrorism.
Ghafoor said the US was unable to defeat Al Qaeda without the support of Pakistan. Pakistan has supported the US before and after 9/11, he said, adding that the relations should be kept intact smoothly.
Talking about the reasons behind the US’s threatening tone and pressing demands to do more, he said that the issue of gains [in the war against terrorism] is linked with local “environment”.
He elaborated that the Pakistan Army defeated the terrorists in the country, keeping in view the local culture and geography, similarly, Afghanistan has its own history, culture, and geography where foreign forces face several problems.
Maj Gen Gafoor further said that the army has taken a lot of measures which have yet to be taken on Afghan soil. Citing the example of a 2611 kilometre long porous border, he said that the army has cleared the Pakistani side of the border and eliminated all the terrorist hideouts, whereas the presence of “boots on the ground” on the Afghan side— either of allied or Afghan forces— is also essential.
“They will have to eliminate the vacuum and we also demand them of intelligence sharing and to eliminate Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) elements who are stationed there. We have put a fence at our border and also offered and suggested them to fence their border and establish posts because border coordination and cooperation is very necessary [to end terrorism],” he said.
The DG ISPR highlighted two essential points— return of Afghan refugees and narco-trade from Afghanistan. He added that they will be in a better position to claim that there is no facilitator of terrorists in the country if the Afghan refugees in Pakistan are taken back.
Definitely, they want our role in Afghanistan “but we can’t go and fight for them inside Afghanistan. They will have to complete their tasks in Afghanistan on their own”, he said.
Rejecting the claims of facilitation of terrorists, he said how could it be possible for a terrorist in Pakistan to commit terrorism miles and miles inside Afghanistan if they have their writ on their soil.
He added that they are ready for cooperation and coordination with Afghanistan forces but blame game will take to nowhere.
Orignally published by NNI