Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has informed Commander US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Joseph L Votel that the “entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed on [the US]trivialising our decade old cooperation. We won’t ask for restoration of financial assistance but honourable recognition of our contributions,” reiterating the statements across the country.
He further stated that Pakistan shall continue its sincere counter terrorism efforts even without US financial support in accordance with national interest and shall remain committed to bring it to its logical conclusion along with other stake holders.
The statements made by the army chief came after he received two phone calls over the week; one from the commander of US CENTCOM and the other from US Senator to discuss the security cooperation between the two nations post US President Donald Trump’s tweet. A press release issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) read, “General Joseph L Votel apprised COAS about the US decision regarding Security Assistance and Coalition Support Fund.”
Gen Votel said the US values Pakistan’s role “towards the war on terror and expected that on-going turbulence [between the two countries]remains a temporary phase”.
The US is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan but is “seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals who, according to the US, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan,” add the statement.
General Bajwa reiterated Pakistan’s response and said that nation felt betrayed over US statements despite decades of cooperation. “Accordingly, a unanimous national response reflected the same sentiments,” the press release read.
The statement further added that the COAS said Pakistan has suffered greatly due to the power struggle in the region. Continuing he said that Pakistan is fully aware of the US’ concerns with regards to the activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, and that “we are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation ‘Raddul 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 further added that Pakistan is strengthening its border controls unilaterally, “but if Afghanistan genuinely feels affected by Pakistan, bilateral border management must be Kabul’s top priority as well.”
The army chief further said that Pakistan does not seek resumption of aid, but “expects an honourable recognition of our contributions, sacrifices and unwavering resolve in the fight against terrorism for the peace and stability of the country.”
He further added that Pakistan will keep supporting all peace initiatives in Afghanistan despite the country’s “tendency to scapegoat Pakistan”, and said that peace in Afghanistan is “the only way to move towards enduring peace and stability in the region”.
According to the statement, General Votel acknowledged the effectiveness of some of the recent actions taken by Pakistan ensuring that hospitality given to Afghan refugees is not misused in anyway.”