- Gen Ghafoor says despite up and downs in the relations, Pakistan considers the US as a friend
- Says peace with India is not possible till the pending issues are resolved
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday said that”cooperative engagement [between Pakistan and the US] can take us forward but coercion won’t help”.
The Pakistan Army’s spokesperson was alluding to the United States’ pressure tactics to force Pakistan to act against the alleged terrorist havens on its soil.
Speaking at Geo News, the army spokesperson said, “Pakistan continues to consider the US an ally” while replying to a question about the US not willing to consider Pakistan a friend and ally.
“As far as Pakistan is concerned, we consider them allies. Our relationship has had its ups and downs but still, we are friends,” Major General Ghafoor remarked.
Commenting on the history of tumultuous relations between Pakistan and the US, the army media wing chief said: “We have a very long list of occasions when we cooperated with the US but on the other hand, there were many times when the US didn’t support us.”
In regards to the double-game accusations, the spokesperson that Pakistan being an ally has supported the US. “We had a choice at one point of time when we could have opted for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) but we preferred the US instead [in the aftermath of the partition],” he said.
The ISPR director general said that the US had only paid Pakistan for what it had cost Pakistan to be a part of the war on terror in Afghanistan. “The Coalition Support Fund, as evident by its name, was received as a reimbursement for operations that were carried out to support the US.”
ACTIONS AGAINST HAQQANI NETWORK:
Replying to the do-more mantra of the US, General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan has taken action against the Haqqani network and the effects will be visible in due course of time.
“Effects of these operations cannot be visible immediately,” he said. “Only time will show how effective these operations were [in establishing peace within the region].”
The army carried out operations against the Haqqanis and in North Waziristan after the capacity of security forces was increased, he added.
In response to a question regarding US drone attacks in the settled areas of Pakistan, Ghafoor said the country will respond to such acts according to the aspiration of its people.
THIRD-PARTY ‘RESPONSIBLE’ FOR DETERIORATING PAK-US RELATIONS:
Blaming a third-party, apparently India, for the recent Pak-US spat, especially after the Trump’s new Afghan policy, Gen Ghafoor said: “There are countries in the region that want to deteriorate the relations”.
Discussing India’s new role in the region in the new US foreign policy [in August] for South Asia, Major General Ghafoor said that a single country cannot be assigned the role to guarantee peace in the region.
“There are countries in the region that want to increase the differences between Pakistan and the US,” he said, in an apparent reference to India. “We are a nuclear power; we do not need security guarantees from anyone.”
“Peace with India is not possible till the pending issues are resolved,” said ISPR spokesperson in an allusion to the role of India in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan through Afghanistan border.
“India has used Afghan soil to support terrorism in Pakistan and Kulbhushan Jadhav is one such example.”
“India does not want Pakistan to proceed on the path of peace; it keeps engaging us towards itself,” said DG ISPR.
FROM ‘DO MORE’ TO ‘NO MORE’: On Monday, United States President Donald Trump had accused Pakistan of giving Washington “nothing but lies and deceit”, announcing that the country will not get any aid in future.
President Trump had tweeted that Islamabad thinks of US leaders “as fools”.
He said Washington had “foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years”. In turn, he claimed that Pakistan had given “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help”.
“No more,” he added, in what seems to be the latest iteration of Washington’s “do more” mantra.
Pakistan had responded to Trump’s intimidating tweet with one voice, as it lodged a strong protest by summoning US Ambassador David Hale to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and serving him a demarche over the US president’s tweet.