Pakistan knows how to protect its sovereignty: Foreign Office

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday while rejecting the recently announced US National Security Strategy 2017, has said that it should not be forgotten that as a country of over 200 million people with strong and robust democratic institutions and highly professional and committed security forces, Pakistan knew well how to protect its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interest determined by the people of Pakistan themselves.

“Pakistan rejects certain unsubstantiated allegations made by the US against it. They belie facts on ground and trivialize Pakistan’s efforts for fighting terrorism and its unmatched sacrifices to promote peace and stability in the region”, says a statement from the Foreign Office.

According to the First Post, the new Trump policy has glowing references to India while “nearly-damning” ones to Pakistan. Trump’s new national security strategy blames Pakistan for allowing militants to operate from within Pakistan and insists that Pakistan take decisive action against militant and terrorist groups operating from its soil.

“The US seeks a Pakistan that is not engaged in destabilizing behavior and Washington will insist that Islamabad intensify its counterterrorism efforts”, Trump warns. Finally the US in its document warns of a potential Indian-Pakistan military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange and urges Pakistan “to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets”.

The Foreign Office hit back by asserting, “As a responsible nuclear state, Pakistan has put in place, a highly efficient, robust and centralized 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.”

The Trump administration was also reminded that it was because of Pakistan’s cooperation with the international community, acknowledged and appreciated by the US leadership, that the Al- Qaeda core was decimated from the region.

“It has long been at the forefront in the fight against regional and global terrorism. Mindful of the fact that the war against terrorism is not yet over, Pakistan remains committed to continuing its fight against the sympathizers, financers and abettors of terrorism to ensure that Pakistan’s soil is not used for committing violence anywhere. We expect the same commitment from our neighbours and other regional and global actors”, the statement from the Foreign Office added.

Unhappy with the manner that Washington has lauded India, Pakistan, says, “Countries emerge as regional or global powers on the basis of their constructive contributions. 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”.

It added that South Asia’s strategic stability is being undermined by India’s unchecked brutalization of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir and incessant ceasefire violations targeting innocent civilians

Washington was also reminded that in a troubled neighborhood, Pakistan continues to suffer at the hands of state sponsored terrorism, funded and abetted by our neighbors through proxies.

“These proxies, consisting of individuals, organizations and intelligence agencies, are working against Pakistan at the behest of regional adversaries. 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. Destabilizing 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”, added the statement.

Turning to its western borders, Pakistan pointed out that the Afghan soil, despite substantial US presence, is being constantly used by elements hostile to Pakistan’s stability. “Pakistan’s efforts and sincere proposals for effective border management to prevent cross border movement of militants and return of Afghan refugees are yet to make any headway. On the other hand, a malicious campaign is under-way to undo Pakistan’s achievements in the war against terrorism”, says the statement.

Pakistan has consistently emphasised that a political settlement, owned and led by Afghans is the only viable option to end the conflict in Afghanistan. In recent years, Pakistan’s security forces have undertaken indiscriminate and effective counter-terrorism operations against terrorism and extremism.

“Thanks to these comprehensive operations, today Pakistan is a more stable, peaceful and secure country. The success against the menace of terrorism, however, has come at a tremendous cost of blood and treasure, courageously braced by the people of Pakistan”, says the Foreign Office.

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