Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday derided United States’ assertion that said it was not doing its best to fight terrorism, which also led Islamabad to be placed on ‘Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom’ by Washington.
In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said the arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts were proving to be counterproductive in addressing common threats – of putting a stop to terrorism in Afghanistan.
“Working towards enduring peace requires mutual respect and trust along with patience and persistence. Emergence of new and more deadly groups such as Daesh [IS] in Afghanistan call for enhancing international cooperation. Arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts are counterproductive in addressing common threats,” the statement said.
In addition to this, Pakistan claimed that the cooperation between the two countries in fighting terrorism had directly served US national security interests.
“We believe that Pakistan-US cooperation in fighting terrorism has directly served US national security interests as well as the larger interests of international community,” the statement said.
The statement also made a note that Pakistan had helped decimate Al-Qaeda and fight other groups who took advantage of ungoverned spaces, a long porous border and posed a common threat to peace.
On that note, Islamabad, in another statement, also rejected the US designation of Pakistan in the ”Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom.”
“The report is not based on objective criteria. This placement on special watch list is a new categorization and we would be seeking clarification from the US regarding its rationale and implications,” Faisal said, in the statement.
The statement expressed surprise that countries that had a well-known record of systematic persecution of religious minorities were not included in the list.
“This reflects the double standards and political motives behind the listing and hence lacks credibility,” the statement added.
This comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries after the Trump administration confirmed the stopping off military aid to Pakistan, on Thursday.
As of now, they have announced suspension of only military aid, the humanitarian assistance would continue
The White House had warned Islamabad it would have to do more on the anti-terrorism front to receive US aid. (ANI)