Pakistan on Wednesday summoned US Ambassador Richard Olson and lodged a protest with him over the unwarranted comments contained by Pentagon’s six-monthly report to the Congress through which Pakistan has been accused of using militants as proxies to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter “India’s superior military”.
“Pakistan’s protest over these unwarranted comments was conveyed by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to the US Ambassador Richard Olson at the Foreign Ministry Wednesday,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam. She said the government of Pakistan took a serious exception to the comments contained in the US Department of Defense’s report sent to the Congress under the title “Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan”.
— Olson summoned over Pentagon’s report
While noting Pakistan’s co-operation with the US in areas of mutual interests, the spokesperson said the recently-released report also carries unsubstantiated allegations of the existence of terrorist “sanctuaries” or that proxy forces are operating from here against Afghanistan and India. “Such allegations are of particular concern at this point when Pakistan government has launched a comprehensive operation against militants in North Waziristan,” she said, adding that the military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ has been broadly welcomed internationally, including the US.
She said the operation has successfully eliminated terrorist hideouts and is directed against all militants, without any discrimination. “We therefore hope that the issue will be seen in its correct perspective,” she asserted. In its report, Pentagon has alleged that Afghan-and-India-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory detrimental to Afghan and regional stability. The report, which was quickly welcomed by India, further accused Pakistan of using these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military. The Pentagon in its report maintained that such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations.
In the report, the Pentagon also referred to the attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat, just three days before the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a group of four heavily armed militants and termed the incident an act deliberately timed to coincide the ceremony.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT