The officials said Islamabad had launched a diplomatic campaign to counter “US-India nexus” which could prove ‘lethal’ for Pakistan.
Islamabad: Pakistan has complained to the US for discriminating between Pakistan and India in the region, officials said.
Earlier, secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s demonstrated loving gestures in New Delhi and announced to work together in Afghanistan days after somber meetings in Islamabad where he told the civil and military leadership that the new policy of President Donald Trump on Afghanistan — supporting a greater role for India — will not be changed and Islamabad has to accept this reality.
The highly warm meetings in New Delhi after dead-cold interactions in Islamabad jolted the diplomatic corps who are now active to control the damage, senior officials at the foreign ministry said.
The officials said Islamabad had launched a diplomatic campaign to counter “US-India nexus” which could prove ‘lethal’ for Pakistan. The officials said that Pakistan was in contact with the US and other influential countries with a one-point agenda to highlight Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war on terror.
One official said: “Our diplomats were in contact with the US counterparts and repeated Pakistan’s stance that more involvement of India in Afghanistan could be risky for Pakistan. We are hoping a middle way out. We have complained about discrimination and told them that loving India and pressing Pakistan is not the best policy.”
Another official added: “There have been contacts with the United Kingdom and the European countries to tell them that we are not with the terrorists but against them.”
Mr Tillerson was in Pakistan this week and had a joint meeting with the civil and the military leadership. He made it clear that Trump’s new Afghanistan policy will not be changed on the demand of Pakistan. He emphasized India’s role for Afghanistan peace – a strategy contested by Pakistan.
Mr Trump had earlier accused Pakistan of protecting terrorists who were threatening peace in Afghanistan. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif said that US security “failures” in Afghanistan were evident from events of the week when Rex Tillerson could not move out of a US military base and invited Afghan leaders to his “bunker” for talks.
“This situation tells the whole story of US failures, despite fighting in the country for 16 years,” Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He maintained that Pakistan was seeking transparent relations on “equal terms” with the United States and is ready to offer its full cooperation in fighting terrorism, but “without compromising its sovereignty” and scape-goating Islamabad would not be acceptable.
Mr Asif further said the decrease in drone attacks in the past few years showed that there were no more safe havens for the terrorists in Pakistan.
He shared a chart of drone attacks carried out in the last 12 years from 2005 till Oct 15, 2017, in Pakistan. He later tweeted: “12yrs drone attacks chart. If we have sanctuaries why frequency is sharply down. The US won’t hesitate attacking funeral, weddings to get targets.”
The minister said since 2013 there had been just 65 drone attacks in Pakistan, and 2010 being the year when the pilotless planes attacked 90 times, the highest in 12 years.
In 2013, there were 24 drone strikes; in 2014, 19; in 2015, 14; in 2016, 03 and in the 10 months this year, 05 attacks took place, shows the chart shared by the foreign minister.