ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khurram Dastagir on Wednesday stated that the operation against Jamatud Dawa (JuD) was being held under the umbrella of Operation Raddul Fasaad.
In an interview with BBC Urdu, the minister also categorically denied the rumours that the crackdown against Hafiz Saeed’s organisation had anything to do with the pressure from United States of America (USA) and stated that the operation was a unilateral step, taken in line with the counter-terrorism narrative of the Pakistani state.
Dastgir said that while many organisations have been banned at the international level, Pakistan was taking action after a great deal of consideration. He said Pakistan cannot take guns and start raiding its people but would take all the decisions after serious thinking.
Earlier, the government of Pakistan barred Hafiz Saeed’s JuD and its charity organisations, as well as several other such organisations named in a list of banned outfits by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from collecting funds.
Khurram Dastagir stated that there were no hideouts of militants in Pakistan as all such establishments were eliminated by Pakistan army in Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.
The minister further asked the US to give details of terrorists in Pakistan so that the national security forces could hold operations there. He said that Pakistan was economically stable and in a position to support its armed forces.
He held India responsible for the deterioration in relations between Pakistan and the US and said New Delhi was using Afghan soil against Pakistan.
He said the Pak-US relationship has gone beyond friendship and animosity and Islamabad has told Washington in categorical terms that it should not blame Pakistan for their failure in Afghanistan. He rejected reports of any deadline by Washington against Haqqani network emphasising that Pakistan is a sovereign and nuclear power and cannot be given any deadline.
Khurram Dastgir said though talks between Pakistan and the US have been held at the highest level, the strategic dialogue between the two countries is suspended. He said military assistance by the US to Pakistan has almost ended.
He advised the US to speak in the language of cooperation as Pakistani nation, elected government and the armed forces have serious reservations over any negative and threatening language.
Dastgir further stated that America should work together for the development of the region instead of saying ‘do more’ and ‘no more’. He termed Trump’s recent tweet as a view of extremism.
Khurram Dastgir Khan claimed that the US has given Pakistan “nothing but invective and mistrust”, and claimed that the US officials “overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis”.