Pakistan has rejected US criticism of its efforts to fight terrorism, saying it should not be made a scapegoat for the failure of the U.S. military to win the war in Afghanistan.
USPresident Donald Trump unveiled his policy for Afghanistan on Monday, stepping up the military campaign against Taliban insurgents and singling out Pakistan for harbouring them. US officials later warned that aid to Pakistan might be cut and Washington might downgrade nuclear-armed Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, in order to pressure it to do more to help bring about an end to America’s longest-running war. Pakistan’s powerful military chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, met U.S. Ambassador David Hale on Wednesday and told him Pakistan was actively working for peace in Afghanistan.
“We have done a lot … and shall keep on doing our best, not to appease anyone but in line with our national interest and national policy,” Bajwa was quoted in an army press statement as telling Hale. Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif added his voice to a chorus of indignation over the U.S. criticism, reiterating Pakistan’s denial that it harbours militants. “They should not make Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures in Afghanistan,” Asif said in an interview with Geo TV late on Tuesday.