- US defence secretary says America wants ‘consistent’ not ‘transactional’ relation with Pakistan
- Pakistan tells US it does not want to blamed for US failure in Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has told the visiting US Defence Secretary General James Mattis that it would only guarantee no attacks from its soil if the US special forces erect a fence along Pakistan-Afghan borders and also repatriates all the Afghan migrants.
An official source privy to the US, Pakistan dialogue requesting anonymity told Pakistan Today that it was a frank but straight talk with the US defence secretary. “We frankly told the US dignitary that there is trust deficit which needs to be bridged,” he said.
“The US policy of whipping Pakistan for every issue it faces should come to an end. We are not ready to be blamed for the failure of the US in Afghanistan anymore,” the official said and added that the US wanted ‘consistent’ relationship with Pakistan and not a ‘transactional’ one.
“We have a capacity issue too as 200,000 army men are securing Pakistan-Afghan border in the west while over 100,000 security personnel are securing the Line of Control (LoC),” he said and added that another 300,000 army personnel are on duty round the clock.
When the US defence secretary talked about the elements of Haqqani network, the official said that Pakistan submitted details of some of its recent actions against the terrorists of all hue and colour, telling the US officials that no terrorist would be spared under Pakistan’s policy of indiscriminate action against terrorists.
“We told the US officials that around 70,000 Afghans cross over through nine border crossings on a daily basis, which makes it impossible to identify each and every individual crossing the border,” the official said. He added that the US was told that Pakistan was erecting the fence on its own side of the border.
However, the official said that there is 648 a kilometre-long border between Pakistan and Afghan which is unguarded. Therefore, he added that it was literally impossible to bring cross-border terrorism to zero.
Moreover, the official said that the US was informed that all Afghan refugees should be repatriated as Pakistan was unable to cater to their needs due to security and economic concerns.
The official said that the US delegation acknowledged the facts highlighted by Pakistan and both sides acknowledged that there was a trust deficit which could be bridged.
James Mattis was told that it was imperative for US forces to erect a fence on the Afghan side of the border to assure no terrorists could cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan.
The official further said that the US had been informed about India’s deliberate ceasefire agreement violations compelled Pakistan army to remain largely engaged on its western border. Moreover, the army had also been involved in the war against terrorism, he added.
“We have told General Mattis that there is no popular struggle in Balochistan. Some Baloch individuals, however, are being funded by India and even carry Indian passports, but they have no following,” the official said and added that Indian intelligence was funding some Afghan elements to use as a proxy against Pakistan.
The official said that India aimed at two objectives: (i) to overstretch Pakistan army and (ii) to shift the world focus from Indian atrocities in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).
The US secretary of defence said that the US understood the problems being created by India for Pakistan not only in Kashmir but in other parts of the world including in Afghanistan.
“General Mattis said that most of the Pakistan-India problems had almost been resolved at the highest level in the 1990s and afterwards including Sir Creek and Siachen issue,” the source said and added that the defence secretary acknowledged that the US understands the role being played by India to add to the problems for Pakistan.
The official said that the Kashmiri freedom struggle was indigenous and that was the reason India was not blaming Pakistan for freedom movement the way it used to do in the past.
About the Indian allegations of cross-border terrorism, Pakistani delegation told the US dignitary that in 2001, India had accused Pakistan of 3,700 border crossings while this year, when Kashmir uprising touched unprecedented heights, India has only alleged 32 border crossings.
The official said that Pakistan, time and again, referred to the Indian atrocities being committed in the IoK and how the Indian army was killing hundreds of Kashmiris in their worst oppressive tactics.