Pakistan's envoy to US rejects claims of terrorist 'safe havens'

10:16 AM | 23 Aug, 2017
Pakistan's envoy to US rejects claims of terrorist 'safe havens'

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Wednesday rejected the US accusation regarding safe havens for terrorists in the country, local media reported.

Speaking at an event, the Pakistani envoy highlighted that Pakistan has been suffering more for the past 38 years due to instability in Afghanistan, adding that peaceful Afghanistan was in favour of Pakistan.

Chaudhry asserted a dialogue process led by Afghanistan can establish peace in the war-torn neighbouring country.

Calling Pakistan's efforts against terrorism unmatched, the ambassador said Pakistan wants to carry on constructive dialogue with Washington in order to ensure regional stability.

Trump Policy

US President Donald Trump, on Monday unleashed his policy of ramping up pressure on Pakistan, a close ally of US, in a bid to fully implement the revamped Afghan war strategy.

Accusing Islamabad of harbouring “agents of chaos, violence, and terror” the tycoon-turned-president clarified to increase pressure on the country to stop any re-emergence of safe havens in order to gain regional peace, besides announcing increase of US troops in Afghanistan.

President Trump stated this in his first formal address to the nation as commander-in-chief while announcing a his new strategy regarding Pakistan’s neighbouring country, Afghanistan, where America landed with its troops after 9/11 attacks nearly 16 years ago.

He said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” adding, “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan.”

Privileged Status

A day after the US president's speech, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday issued a warning that Pakistan's privileged status as a major non-NATO US ally could be in question if it does not change its approach regarding extremists.

"We have some leverage," Tillerson told reporters, "in terms of aid, their status as a non-NATO alliance partner – all of that can be put on the table."

"The president has been clear that we are going to attack terrorists wherever they live," Tillerson said.

"We have put people on notice that if you're providing safe haven to terrorists, be warned – we are going to engage those providing a safe haven and ask them to change what they are doing."