Foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz on Friday dismissed US President Barack Obama’s description of Pakistan as a country that will be unstable for decades as “predictions”, saying Islamabad is taking action against terrorists and extremists.
During his final State of the Union address this week, Obama had warned that instability will continue for decades in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East and parts of Central America, Africa and Asia. He also said some of these places “may become safe havens for new terrorist networks”.
Aziz, the adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on foreign affairs, told a breakfast meeting with Chinese scholars, diplomats and journalists: “Whatever the US president said about instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan are his predictions and have nothing to do with ground realities.”
The Dawn quoted Aziz as saying, “Pakistan is taking decisive action against terrorism and militancy and (the) days to come will witness more stability here.”
Aziz acknowledged there was instability in Afghanistan and said Pakistan is making “all out efforts for establishing peace and stability there”.
He further said that Pakistan will foil “all sinister designs” against the country’s $46 billion economic corridor project with China. The project will help Pakistan overcome its energy crisis and infuse new life in infrastructure, he said.
Aziz referred to a planned meeting of the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan and said both countries are in touch and new dates for the talks will be finalised soon.
On Thursday, India and Pakistan mutually agreed to put off the meeting – scheduled for January 15 – in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase. The assault has been blamed on the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Aziz said there is no competition between Pakistan’s Gwadar port and Iran’s Chabahar port, which have been declared “sister ports”. “Gwadar provides a shorter route to Central Asia than Chabahar,” he added.