U.S. accusations are unfounded: Pakistan

‘They belie the facts on the ground’

Published - December 20, 2017 10:35 pm IST - Islamabad

Pakistan on Wednesday strongly responded to U.S.’s concerns about the terror groups operating from its soil as outlined in its National Security Strategy, terming them as “unfounded accusations” that belie the facts on the ground. Mandated by the Congress, US President Donald Trump yesterday released his first National Security Strategy 2017, according to which the US has asked Pakistan to intensify its counter-terrorism efforts.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said the NSS 2017 has made certain unsubstantiated allegations against Pakistan.

“Pakistan rejects such unfounded accusations that belie facts on ground and trivialise Pakistan’s efforts for fighting terrorism and our unmatched sacrifices to promote peace and stability in the region,” the statement said.

It said Pakistan has been at the forefront in the fight against terrorism and it is because of Pakistan’s cooperation, acknowledged and appreciated by the U.S. leadership, that the al-Qaeda’s core was decimated from the region.

It said that in a troubled neighbourhood, Pakistan continues to suffer at the hands of state sponsored terrorism, funded and abetted by our neighbours through proxies.

The self-proclaimed guarantors of peace and “phony regional powers” are pursuing this nefarious game of expansionism to the detriment of regional and global peace, the statement said, without naming any country.

“Destabilising policies and actions by some countries to maintain their hegemony in pursuit of absolute power are responsible for instability in several parts of the world, including ours,” it said.

In an oblique reference to India, the statement said that countries emerge as regional or global powers on the basis of their constructive contributions and it does not fall upon one country to bestow such status on any state.

“Ironically, a country with a record of defiance of UNSC resolutions, introduction of nuclear weapons in South Asia and use of terrorism as a state policy is being projected as a regional leader,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said.

Pakistan also alleged that the hostile elements were using Afghan soil against it “despite substantial US presence” in Afghanistan.

The statement said Pakistan has consistently emphasised that a political settlement, owned and led by Afghans is the only viable option to end the conflict in Afghanistan.

The statement said that Pakistan’s security forces have undertaken indiscriminate and effective counter-terrorism operations against terrorism and extremism, making Pakistan a more stable, peaceful and secure country.

Rejecting US concerns about its nuclear weapons, the statement said that Pakistan as a responsible nuclear state has put in place, a highly efficient, robust and centralised command and control mechanism to secure its nuclear assets.

“The safety and security standards of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal are second to no other nuclear state,” it said.

It said Pakistan was mindful that the war against terrorism was not over and was committed to continue its fight against the sympathisers, financers and abettors of terrorism to ensure that its soil is not used for committing violence anywhere.

“We expect the same commitment from our neighbours and other regional and global actors,” it said.

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