UNITED NATIONS – Refusing to be a “scapegoat” in Afghan war, Pakistan has also refused to endorse any failed strategy that will add fuel to the fire.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi informed the world in his maiden speech to the 72 session of the United Nations General Assembly without directly criticising the US policy on Afghanistan and South Asia.
The Prime Minister stated, “Having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counterterrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan”.
“We are not prepared to be anyone’s scapegoat,” he asserted.
He said that Pakistan is not ready to fight the Afghan war on its own soil, adding that it cannot “endorse any failed strategy that will prolong and intensify the suffering of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan and other regional countries”.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan suffered huge losses of innocent lives and economy, adding that more than 27,000 Pakistanis including 6,500 military and law enforcement troops were martyred in the war, while the economic losses stood at $120 billion.
Stressing the need for resolving the Afghan issue, the PM said that negotiated settlement is the only way to restore peace in the country, besides asking for putting focus on talks between Kabul and Taliban.
Rubbishing US claims regarding alleged safe havens of terrorists, he said that there are no sanctuaries of militants in Pakistan, adding that they have dens in Afghanistan from where attacks are conducted against Pakistan.
The Prime Minister called for elimination of Daesh, Al-Qaeda and their affiliates including the TTP and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar in Afghanistan.
Donald Trump accusing Pakistan of allegedly providing safe havens to “agents of chaos, violence, and terror” 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”.
Urging the UN Security Council to implement its resolution regarding Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Abbasi said Pakistan seeks peaceful and expeditious resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Radio Pakistan reported.
He expressed deep concern over unabated persecution of innocent Kashmiris making efforts for their right to self-determination.
He asked the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to designate a special envoy on Kashmir in order to resolve the long-delayed issue, adding that Pakistan is ready to hold dialogue with India on all issues, especially Kashmir.
“This dialogue must be accompanied by an end to India’s campaign of subversion and state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan, including from across our western border,” he said.
India made over six hundred ceasefire violations since January this year, but Pakistan has given limited response, he said. He warned of stern action on any “adventure” from Indian side.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan seeks good relations with all states on the basis of sovereign equality.
The Prime Minister also condemned the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims and termed it a challenge to the conscience of all countries.
Commenting on the Palestine issue, he said Israel’s prolonged occupation and expansion of illegal settlements may lead to renewed and wider violence in the Holy Land.