Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said the return of the refugees is prerequisite in a bid to help the Pakistani forces deny safe havens to the Afghan militants.
Speaking to the US CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel, the Pakistani Army Chief said “Pakistan is fully aware of US concerns on activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and we are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation ‘Radd ul Fasaad’ to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan Refugees is an essential prerequisite. Pakistan is also strengthening border controls unilaterally but if Afghanistan genuinely feels affected from Pakistan, bilateral border management must be Kabul’s top priority as well.”
The Pakistani military in a statement said Gen. Votel apprised COAS about the US decision regarding Security Assistance and Coalition Support Fund and said that US values Pakistan’s role towards war on terror and expected that on-going turbulence remains a temporary phase.
The statement further added that the top US General also conveyed COAS that US is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan but is seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals who, in US view, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan.
“This view, he felt, was undermining in Washington, Pakistan’s contributions in war against terrorism. COAS said that entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed over US recent statements despite decades of cooperation. Accordingly unanimous national response reflected the same sentiments. COAS said that Pakistan shall continue its sincere counter terrorism efforts even without US financial support in accordance with our national interest and shall remain committed to bring it to its logical conclusion along with other stake holders. COAS said that Pakistan has suffered hugely due to great power contestation in the region,” he added.
According to the Pakistani military, the Chief of the Army Staff reiterated that Pakistan will not seek resumption of aid but expect honourable recognition of our contributions, sacrifices and unwavering resolve in fight against terrorism for peace and stability in the region. COAS further said that Pakistan will keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan despite the tendency to scapegoat Pakistan, as peace in Afghanistan is the only way to move towards enduring peace and stability in the region.