- Army chief tells top US general entire Pakistani nation feels betrayed over Trump’s tweets
- Gen Joseph Votel says recent turbulence in the two countries’ relationship remains ‘a temporary phase’
- Pakistan to keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan despite American tendency of scapegoating country for its failures
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has told the top American general that Pakistan will not seek the resumption of US military aid but it expects honourable recognition of its contributions, sacrifices and unwavering support in the fight against terrorism, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Friday.
According to the ISPR press release tweeted by Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, Gen Bajwa received a telephone call from Commander US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph L. Votel and another from a US senator to discuss Pak-US security cooperation in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s intense criticism and withholding of aid from Pakistan since the turn of the year.
According to the ISPR, Gen Votel told Gen Bajwa that the US values Pakistan’s role in the war against terrorism and that the recent turbulence in the two countries’ relationship remains “a temporary phase”. However, Gen Bajwa told Gen Votel that the entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed over the US government’s recent statements, which he said ignored decades of cooperation on Pakistan’s part.
Comd USCENTCOM & a US Senator telephoned COAS to discuss security coop post POTUS tweet. “Entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed on trivialising our decade old cooperation. We won’t ask for restoration of financial assistance but honourable recognition of our contributions”, COAS. pic.twitter.com/oHEQGGvyIf
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) January 12, 2018
Gen Votel reportedly conveyed to Gen Bajwa that the US is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan but instead seeks its cooperation in tackling Afghan nationals who, in America’s view, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan. That, the American general feels, has been undermining Pakistan’s contributions in the war, the ISPR release said.
The COAS reportedly told Gen Votel that Pakistan shall continue with its “sincere counterterrorism efforts” even without the financial support of the US, as doing so is in line with Pakistan’s national interests. Gen Bajwa also said Pakistan was fully aware of American concerns on the activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, and that it has already taken action through Operation Raddul Fasaad.
It was also understood in the conversations that Pakistan will keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan despite the American tendency of scapegoating Pakistan, as peace in Afghanistan is the only way to move towards enduring peace and stability in the region, the ISPR said.
Gen Votel, meanwhile, acknowledged the effectiveness of some of the recent actions taken by Pakistan to ensure that Pakistan’s hospitality to Afghan refugees is not misused in any way.
He also agreed that both countries stand to gain from cooperative engagement.
It may be mentioned that the US has recently announced to suspend funding to Pakistan, including the liabilities it has to pay in terms of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and other heads. Pakistan, however, has refused to budge, saying that it would not take further dictates and that it’s time for the US and Afghan forces to do more to help bring peace and normalcy in Afghanistan.