PAKISTANI Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua has formally rejected US criticism of Pakistan’s war efforts. Earlier, the US had levelled charges against Pakistan that it neither had a concrete plan nor the will to combat terrorism. Ms. Tehmina Janjua has rightly rebuffed the baseless charges of US. The Daily Mail is of the opinion that if Pakistan did not have an effective plan or lacked the will to fight, how its success rate in eliminating terrorists is much higher than all the NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan. In rejecting the criticism, Ms. Janjua noted that Pakistan, which has staged several offensives against insurgents, had sacrificed many lives to end the extremist threat. She also said Pakistan should not be held accountable for Western failings in Afghanistan.
“We do not share the assessment of the U.S.,” she said. “All the references to Pakistan are unwarranted.” Pakistan has its own means of assessing its strengths and weaknesses in counterterrorism, and it “has a clear strategy in dealing with these and other issues,” Janjua added. The US report released this week said Pakistan has made little progress in the past year in battling Islamist extremists and that there is “no clear path toward defeating the insurgency” in the country. It also raised concerns about political gridlock and economic problems plaguing the nation. Pakistan’s economic and political problems notwithstanding, it has a professional Army, which has become battled hardened and well honed in the war against terror. Counter insurgency operations were once upon a time, alien to Pakistan, but receiving baptism against fire, the Pakistan Army has not only assimilated the lessons learnt, but managed to score unprecedented success. Its complete routing of the miscreants in Swat and South Waziristan have been acknowledged as a success story by all the major powers involved in combating terrorism. Its settlement of displaced people of Swat became a role model for the society.
Besides the official spokesperson of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, Senator Haji Adeel, a key leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) which is also a coalition partner in the centre has said Pakistani security forces were successfully dealing with the insurgency.Adeel has said Pakistan was currently fighting a guerrilla war. He said our country was passing through similar challenges being faced by other countries of the world confronted by guerrilla wars. Senator Adeel, rejected the allegation that Pakistan had no plan to deal with the terrorism effectively and added that NATO forces in Afghanistan should strengthen their own border security plans instead of levelling baseless charges against it.
It is sad that whenever, the US faces tough opposition in Afghanistan, it finds an easy scapegoat in Pakistan and blames it for its woes. If the U.S. genuinely considers Pakistan key to its efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and defeat al-Qaida, it must have trust on its ally since they are facing a common enemy and Pakistan has suffered much more than any other country as well achieved more than others. Pakistan perceives its national interests are neither understood nor given any importance. At times it is Pentagon and at other either U.S government or the CIA which became instrumental to incidents like handling of Raymond Davis issue, U.S India nuclear deal, drone attacks and policy shifts like US Afghan policy directly hitting Pakistan’s national interests. The conflicting US policies by Pentagon, CIA, and White House have failed to come up with any solution for the ongoing war in Afghanistan for last nine years but the US has adopted a heavy-handed approach towards Pakistan which has weakened the partnership.
Faux-pas on the part of the NATO, like supply dropping weapons erroneously in Taliban controlled territory and withdrawing its check-posts from its four key bases in Nuristan, on the border with Pakistan, which left north-eastern province as a safe haven for the Taliban-led insurgency to orchestrate its regional battles are case in point. The bottom line is that both Pakistan and the US/NATO are combating a common enemy, which is fleeting and wily and can only be defeated through a combined effort and not by mutual distrust. Hence mudslinging on the part of US opinion makers should cease forthwith and concentration be applied to eradicate terrorism, which is the prime goal.