‘Achieved phenomenal success in war on terror’: Pak army chief hits back
The Pakistan Army chief Bajwa forcefully defended Pakistan’s gains against terrorism while dismissing allegations of double-crossing anyone as the country faces global heat over the issue.world Updated: Sep 07, 2017 15:07 IST
Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has hit back at those who are questioning the country’s credentials in the fight against terrorism, asking the world to “do more” and warning that the entire region would be destabilised if Pakistan’s counter-terror campaign fails.
In a speech delivered at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi late on Wednesday night to mark Defence Day, Bajwa forcefully defended Pakistan’s gains against terrorism while dismissing allegations of double-crossing anyone.
“If Pakistan has not done enough against terrorism, then no country in the world has done enough,” Bajwa insisted while saying that now the time had come for the world to “do more” to root out terror.
His remarks came days after the Xiamen declaration of the Brics grouping bracketed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed with the Islamic State and al-Qaida. Pakistan is also facing pressure from US President Donald Trump to crack down on terrorist groups.
Bajwa rejected such accusations and insisted that Pakistan’s fight against terrorism was indiscriminate and targeted all militant groups.
He said Pakistan had done more than any country in the fight against terrorism, yet “we are being accused of having a selective approach”.
Bajwa said if the world could not help and assist Pakistan in its campaign against terrorism, at least it should not cast aspersions.
“Credit goes to Pakistan that with limited resources, it has achieved phenomenal success in the war against terrorism,” he maintained.
On Afghanistan, Bajwa said Pakistan had done much more than its capacity to improve the situation in the neighbouring country. This, he added, did not mean that Pakistan would fight the Afghan war on its soil.
He stressed that there was a clear line as to the extent Pakistan could cooperate with its neighbour. “We have made sincere efforts for talks and peace. However, Afghanistan is a sovereign country which is independent and takes its own decisions,” he said.
Bajwa said if Afghan factions opted for the path of war, Pakistan would not become party to it. He said Pakistan was taking steps to secure its side of the porous 2,600-km border with Afghanistan.
“We are fencing the entire border and establishing over 900 posts,” he said, while also recommending the repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan in an orderly manner.