The Army chief received two telephone calls from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander General Joseph Votel and one from a US senator over the week to discuss Pak-US security cooperation following President Donald Trump’s tweet, an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement issue here said on Friday.
General Joseph L. Votel apprised COAS about the US decision regarding Security Assistance and Coalition Support Fund. He said US valued Pakistan’s role towards war on terror and expected that the ongoing turbulence would remain a temporary phase. He also conveyed the COAS that US was not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan but was seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals who, in US view, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan. This view, he felt, was undermining in Washington, Pakistan’s contributions in the war against terrorism.
The COAS said the entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed over recent US statements despite decades of cooperation. Accordingly, Pakistan’s unanimous national response reflected the same sentiments. The COAS said Pakistan had suffered hugely due to great power contestation in the region. We were fully aware of US concerns on activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and were already undertaking multiple actions through Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan refugees was an essential prerequisite, the Army chief said.
Pakistan was also strengthening border controls unilaterally but if Afghanistan genuinely felt affected from Pakistan, bilateral border management must be Kabul’s top priority as well, he added. The COAS reiterated that Pakistan would not seek resumption of aid but expected honourable recognition of its contributions, sacrifices and unwavering resolve in the fight against terrorism for peace and stability in the region. He said Pakistan would keep on supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan despite the tendency to scapegoat it (Pakistan), as peace in Afghanistan was the only way to move towards enduring peace and stability in the region. General Joseph L. Votel acknowledged the effectiveness of some of the recent actions taken by Pakistan to ensure that Pakistan’s hospitality to Afghan Refugees was not misused in anyway. He agreed that both countries stood to gain from the cooperative engagement.