The Pakistani military and government reacted at the criticisms of the Afghan government and United States regarding Islamabad’s lack of regional cooperation to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Pakistani officials made the remarks during a joint meeting of the civilian and military leaders on Friday, according to the local media reports.
A statement by the National Security Committee (NSC) said “Pakistan continues to work for peace and progress in Afghanistan…and will continue to strive for return of normalcy in Afghanistan at the earliest. This, however, requires simultaneous efforts by the Afghan government for restoring effective control on its territory.”
The local media outlets in the meantime report that the meeting of the NSC which was the third meeting in the past three months, was organized as the President Donald Trump administration is busy finalizing its policy on Afghanistan and there are fears that the new policy will include more pressures on Pakistan, specifically to target the safe havens of the Afghan militant groups, including the notorious Haqqani terrorist network.
The Afghan officials have long been insisting that the leadership councils of the Taliban group and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network are based in Peshawar, Quetta, and other parts of Pakistan from where they plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan.
This comes as the US Department of Defense in its report said last month that “Afghan oriented militant groups, including the Taliban and Haqqani Network, retain freedom of action inside Pakistani territory and benefit from support from elements of the Pakistani Government.”
The report further added “Although Pakistani military operations have disrupted some militant sanctuaries, certain extremist groups—such as the Taliban and the Haqqani Network—were able to relocate and continue to operate in and from Pakistan. The United States continues to convey to Pakistan at all levels the importance of taking action against all terrorist and extremist groups.”