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Pakistan not looking for financial assistance but for trust and respect: Qamar Bajwa

24 August, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Wednesday said that Pakistan was not looking for any material or financial assistance from the US, but wants to be trusted and treated with respect, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“We are not looking for any material or financial assistance from USA but trust, understanding and acknowledgement of our contributions,” Gen Bajwa told US Ambassador in Pakistan David Hale who called on him at the GHQ in Rawalpindi.

The meeting comes a day after US President Donald Trump said his country ‘could no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for militants’ and warned ‘it had much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists’.

According to the ISPR, the US ambassador briefed the army chief about the new US policy regarding Afghanistan. The ambassador said that US values Pakistan’s role in the war against terror and is seeking cooperation from Pakistan to resolve the Afghan issue.

Speaking on the occasion, the COAS said peace in Afghanistan was as important for Pakistan as for any other country. “We have done a lot towards that end and shall keep on doing our best, not to appease anyone but in line with our national interest and national policy,” he said.

Collaboration and synergy of effort between all stakeholders is the key to success to bring this long-drawn war in Afghanistan to its logical conclusion, the COAS said.

A day earlier, Trump committed the United States to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan, signaling he would dispatch more troops to America’s longest war and vowing ‘a fight to win’.

Trump insisted that others – Afghan government, Pakistan, India and NATO allies – step up their own commitment to resolving the 16-year conflict, but he saved his sharpest words for Pakistan.

Senior US officials warned security assistance for Pakistan could be reduced unless the nuclear-armed nation cooperated more in preventing militants from using safe havens on its soil.

A day earlier, the ambassador had similarly briefed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Washington’s new policy and statements made by Trump regarding Pakistan.

During the meeting, Asif had told the ambassador that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community to eliminate the menace of terrorism.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqab Abbasi has presided over a meeting of the federal cabinet to review the situation arising out of the US policy and Trump’s warning to Pakistan.

A statement issued after the cabinet meeting advised the Trump administration that ‘instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, US needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism’.

“No country in the world has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders. It is, therefore, disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation in this effort,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

“Pakistan and the United States have been close allies in the fight against terrorism, which is a common threat for all nations of the world. As a matter of policy, Pakistan does not allow use of its territory against any country,” the statement said.

China has openly defended Pakistan after Trump’s threatening remarks.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Pakistan was on the front line in the struggle against terrorism and had made ‘great sacrifices’ and ‘important contributions’ in the fight. “We believe that the international community should fully recognise Pakistan´s anti-terrorism,” she told a daily news briefing.

“We are happy to see Pakistan and the United States carry out anti-terror cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, and work together for security and stability in the region and world.”

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