Islamabad—Chairman NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel said that Pakistan is an important and traditional partner of NATO. The scale of counter-terrorism campaign by Pakistan is quite large with impressive results in this regard.
“Pakistan has shown great progress in the war against terror in the last couple of years. The reconstruction and rebuilding process would be worth following in this regard,” added the Chairman.
The NATO general was talking to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his call on him here Thursday.
Chairman Military Committee NATO said that by virtue of its size Pakistan can play an important role in the region. “We expect a broader political framework agreement between Pakistan and NATO to unlock further mutual military cooperation,| said General Pavel.
He said his meetings with all the services chiefs and others were highly satisfactory. “I am highly impressed with the state of affairs, professional standards and approach of Pakistan Armed Forces. I would like to acknowledge the comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy which has achieved a lot and there are many lessons for NATO to learn from it,” said Chairman Military Committee NATO.
On the issue of the eastern border, General Pavel said that the world and the UN have to be consistent on principles and rules. “I have listened to your yesterday’s speech in Parliament where you eloquently expressed the issue of Kashmir. The Kashmir issue has to be addressed as two nuclear powers are party to it and the world cannot remain indifferent and must be concerned,” said Chairman Military Committee NATO.
The Prime Minister said that India is creating problems and has resorted to double standards on the issue of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).
He further said that India unfairly blamed Pakistan for Uri attack without investigating into the incident. “India does not realise that the youth of IOK have reenergised the freedom struggle. We want peaceful relations with all of our neighbours. Pakistan would continue to extend moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause. The atrocities by the Indian forces have resulted into the loss of precious human lives and blinded hundreds through the use of brutal force,” said the Prime Minister.
He said that the Pakistani armed forces have rendered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism. This war is immensely backed by the entire nation, government and political leadership of our country to guarantee a peaceful homeland for our future generations. “The ongoing military operation Zarb-i-Azb is the largest military counter-terrorism offensive by any country, which has broken the backbone of terrorists,” underlined the Prime Minister.
Referring to Afghanistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that his government has had a stated policy on Afghanistan which he expressed on day one of assuming the responsibilities as Prime Minister. “We have conveyed to the leadership of Afghanistan that the enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan and we have stood by our words.”
The Prime Minister said that even yesterday Pakistan announced an assistance of $500 million in addition to an earlier assistance of $500m for Afghanistan to help them overcome problems and achieve stability.
“We genuinely believe that stability in Afghanistan is crucial for achieving stability in our own country and the region,” added the Prime Minister.
“The Chief of Army Staff and I visited Afghanistan and always assured them of our fullest cooperation to root out the menace of terrorism which is a common enemy for both the countries,” emphasized the Prime Minister.
The PM further said that the Pakistani civil and military leaderships are in touch with Afghani leadership and have been facilitating the reconciliation process on the request of Afghan government.
We believe that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process is vital for achieving long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan, said the Prime Minister.