Pakistan, Haqqani Network Are Not ‘Friends’, Says Aizaz Chaudhry

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Ambassador to the United States (US) Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said that the Haqqani network was not Pakistan’s “friend”.

“Those playing with human lives, we are against such elements or activities,” he said, while talking to a news channel.

In response to another question, Chaudhry said Pakistan wanted peaceful relations with India and reiterated the Pakistan government’s stance that the relationship should be based on mutual respect.

The envoy said terrorist activities halt the process of improving Pak-India relations, and that terrorists get encouragement when India stops the process.

To a question he said that Pakistan had received coalition support funds.

The Afghan government and the US have in recent years blamed Pakistan for providing sanctuary to the militant group, but earlier this month Gen Joseph Votel, commander of the US Central Command informed a congressional panel that Pakistan had “done things” against the Haqqani network that have been helpful to the war against terror.

“They have done some things that have been helpful to us,” he said. “Most recently, they’ve supported Gen Joseph Nicholson in some places on the border, making sure they were well coordinated and doing the activities on their side of the border.”

“That’s a very positive sign and a move in [the] right direction. And they have done things against the principal concerns we have; the Haqqani network and Taliban,” Gen Votel said. “But we need that to be more persistent and continue to focus in that particular area. And so, we will continue to engage with partner Pakistan throughout this.”

Gen Votel also explained why Pakistan remains “a critical partner” in the counterterrorism fight.

According to him, 20 US-designated terrorist organisations operate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan sub-region and seven of them are in Pakistan.

“So long as these groups maintain safe haven inside of Pakistan they will threaten long-term stability in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that the US was particularly concerned about the Haqqani network, which posed the greatest threat to coalition forces operating in Afghanistan.

Credit: Dawn

 

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