Pakistan rejects Trumps new security strategy

Pakistan rejects Trumps new security strategy
# 19 December 2017 19:25 (UTC +04:00)

Pakistan on Tuesday rejected the new U.S. national security strategy which urged Islamabad to take action against terrorist safe havens in the country, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

“In recent years, Pakistan’s security forces have undertaken indiscriminate and effective counter-terrorism operations against terrorism and extremism,” said Pakistan's Foreign Ministry in a statement.

In his first security policy announced on Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump pressed Pakistan to intensify its counter-terror efforts -- in a reference to the powerful Haqqani network, which the U.S. administration holds responsible for attacks on foreign troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

In a fiery interview to local broadcaster Geo News, Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen Asif Ghafoor said: "We have acted against terrorism, will continue to do so keeping in mind our own interests."

"Everybody knows how did the war against terrorism start and how it was imposed on us," he said, referring to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

"We will not bring the Afghan war back to our soil. This should be crystal clear," he added.

He refuted the U.S. contention that it pays Pakistan to act against terrorists.

"Whatever it has paid to Pakistan, it is for its own regional and security interests. We do not need money from the U.S. We just need acknowledgment of our sacrifices in this war.”

Meanwhile, Kabul hailed the new U.S. strategy.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called it the "cornerstone upon which mutual efforts to defeat terrorism and bring stability to Afghanistan are built".

The U.S. Forces in Afghanistan have now been granted additional powers to go after terrorists -- unlike the previous policy which only allowed them to engage in case of an attack.

India, Pakistan's arch-rival which has developed close ties with Afghanistan in recent years, also welcomed the U.S. move.

"We appreciate the strategic importance given to India-US relationship in the new National Security Strategy released by the U.S.," said Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kumar in a statement.

Trump's new security strategy calls India "a leading global power".

In August, Trump's South Asia policy promised India a broader role in Afghanistan and accused Pakistan of hosting terrorist safe havens.

Pakistan denies the charge and accuses Kabul of allowing militants to use its soil for attacking Pakistani security forces and civilians.

Relations between the two allies, Pakistan and the U.S., have plummeted to a low ebb in recent years, mainly because of clash of interests in war-raked Afghanistan.

*Shuriah Niazi contributed to this report from New Delhi, Shadi Khan Saif contributed from Kabul