ISLAMABAD: National Security Committee (NSC) today rejected remarks given by US President Donald Trump in which he claimed there are safe havens for extremists in Pakistan while discussing his administration s reviewed policy for South Asia and Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Abbasi chaired NSC meeting on Thursday in the capital where both civil and military leadership, including Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, were seated. After condemning Trump’s remarks, the members jointly affirmed that there are no safe havens for terrorist organisations in Pakistan.
They lauded China for defending Pakistan in the cause and protested that the United States neglected Pakistan’s sacrifices and contributions in war on terror. We will not allow anyone to use Pakistan’s soil against any other country and have always supported peace process in Afghanistan, the members stressed.
NSC declared that Pakistan played the role of frontline against terrorism, realising that US ignored Pakistan despite its most number of sacrifices in the war. A notification about the minutes of meeting was issued later on, which rejected the claims of giving billions of dollars of aid to Pakistan, stressing that Pakistan is a sovereign country and will not compromise on its integrity. “Pakistan’s economy suffered loss of USD 120 billion in fight against terrorism … We expect neighbours to not allow anyone to use their land against us,” it stated.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif briefed the civil and military members about Trump’s statement on US policy review. He assured to raise the matter in his visit.
After China, Russia defends Pakistan against Trump’s criticism
After China’s strong message defending Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan and asking the global community to acknowledge its sacrifices in war against terrorism, Russia has echoed similar sentiments following US President Donald Trump’s allegations that Pakistan was offering safe haven to terrorists.
Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov slammed Trump’s Pakistan strategy and insisted that Islamabad is “a key regional player to negotiate with.”
“Putting pressure [on Pakistan] may seriously destabilise the region-wide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan,” the presidential envoy to Kabul told Russia’s ‘Afghanistan’ daily.
Earlier in a phone call to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi urged the US to value Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan.
“We must value Pakistan’s important role on the Afghanistan issue, and respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and reasonable security concerns,” the diplomat said.
Trump, in his first address to the nation as commander-in-chief on Monday, lambasted Pakistan for ‘harbouring militants’.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said, warning that vital aid could be cut. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”