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Pakistan won’t seek US aid resumption: Army Chief Bajwa

Pakistan won’t seek US aid resumption: Army Chief Bajwa
January 12, 2018

PESHAWAR, 12 January: Army Chief, General Qamar Bajwa has said that Pakistan wouldn’t ask for restoration of the financial assistance suspended by the United States and will continue its whole-hearted efforts against militancy and terrorism even without US financial support in accordance with our own national interest.

According to a press release issued by the ISPR on Friday, General Bajwa received two telephone calls from Commander US Central Command (Centcom), Gen Joseph L Votel and one call from a US senator over the week to discuss bilateral security cooperation following President Donald Trump’s tweet.

During the phone calls, the Pakistani Army Chief told Gen. Votel that the entire nation felt betrayed over the recent US allegations despite decades of cooperation between the two countries. He told the US general that Pakistan would continue fighting against terrorism even without their support and would remain committed to bring the war to its logical conclusion along with other stake holders.

“Pakistan has suffered hugely due to great power contestation in the region. It is fully aware of US concerns on activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and we are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan refugees is an essential prerequisite,” the statement maintained while quoting Genera Bajwa as telling the US commander Centcom.

“Pakistan is strengthening border controls unilaterally but if Afghanistan genuinely feels affected from Pakistan, bilateral border management must be Kabul’s top priority as well,” the US general was told.

General Bajwa categorically said that Pakistan would not seek resumption of aid but expet honorable recognition of the contributions, sacrifices and unwavering resolve in the fight against terrorism for peace and stability in the region.

“Pakistan will keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan despite the tendency to scapegoat Pakistan as peace in Afghanistan is the only way to move forward enduring peace and stability in the region,” he maintained.

Gen. Votel said that the US valued Pakistan’s role towards war on terror and expected that the on-going turbulence remained a temporary phase. He also conveyed Gen. Bajwa that US was not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan but was seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals who, in US view, used Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan.

The US General acknowledged the recent actions taken by Pakistan for the hospitality of Afghan refugees and agreed that both countries stand to gain from cooperative engagement.

It merits mentioning here that ties between Pakistan and the US worsened after Trump on January 1, in his first tweet of 2018, said that Washington has got nothing but “lies and deceit” from Pakistan despite providing it more than $33 billion in aid since 2002.

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