Washington: Pakistan is using New Delhi as an excuse to pursue its policies in Afghanistan, the US has said strongly refuting Islamabad’s concerns with regard to Indian developmental activities in the war-torn country. “What India is doing in Afghanistan is not a threat to Pakistan. They’re not building military bases. They’re not deploying troops,” a senior administration official of Republican surrogates said during a conference call yesterday.
National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Michael Anton was responding to questions on Pakistan’s apprehensions and allegations of India’s encirclement of them through Afghanistan.
This is an “excuse” on the part of Pakistan, he said according to Politico, which reported about the conference call.
“They (Indians) are not doing the things that would constitute encirclement, for lack of a better term, which is one of the things that the Pakistani’s complain about,” Anton said, thus strongly refuting the Pakistani allegations in this regard, latest of which was mentioned in the statement issued by the Pakistani Foreign Office.
“The threat to peace and security cannot be isolated from the complex interplay of geopolitics, continued existence of festering disputes and pursuit of hegemonic policies. Non- resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains the primary obstacle to peace and stability in the region,” the Pakistani Foreign Office had said in a statement in a response to the Afghan policy announcement of the US President Donald Trump a day earlier.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Mr Trump had said. Pakistan, he said, has sheltered the same organisations that try every single day to kill “our” people.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said it is disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation in this effort.
“Pakistan has been and will continue to be part of the global counter terrorism efforts. Pakistan and the US 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,” it said.
“Instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, the US needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism,” it added.