The government of Pakistan has made it very clear, and they are correct that the war on terror “cannot be won by excluding or confronting” Islamabad. Despite the words of President Trump (also correct) criticizing Pakistan’s penchant for allowing terrorists linked to the Taliban and the Haqqani network to hide in their territory, Pakistan vows to fight on with the U.S.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif made the remark Thursday at the end of a three-day conference of Pakistani ambassadors to key world capitals for formulating a comprehensive response to the new U.S. policy on Afghanistan.
U.S. President Donald Trump criticized Pakistan when he announced his long-awaited Afghan war policy last month. He accused Islamabad of harboring terrorists linked to the Taliban and Haqqani network, which are undermining U.S.-led efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and staging attacks on American forces.
The charges have strained an already fragile relationship between Islamabad and Washington.
“We want to stay engaged with the United States. There is absolutely no doubt about it … But this relationship will be driven by the interest of Pakistan. We want to have a relationship based on mutual respect,” Foreign Minister Asif told reporters after the meeting.
Pakistan has again rejected the notion that they haven’t done enough to combat terrorism. They are quick to point out the sacrifices their people and military forces have suffered economically as well.
Asif’s remarks called for the Trump Administration to recall the sacrifices that both the US and Pakistan shared back in the 1980s when the CIA and the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI created, funded, trained and armed Afghan rebels, the Mujahedeen to fight the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
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