Pakistan’s army chief says cannot fight Afghanistan’s war in Pakistan

Gen.-BajwaKABUL: The Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said the country cannot fight Afghanistan’s war in Pakistan, apparently gesturing towards the demands by Kabul and Washington to eliminate the sanctuaries of the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network based in the key cities of the country.

The remarks by Gen. Bajwa could be a gesture of Pakistan to reject the calls for the elimination of the terror sanctuaries as he said the country would prefer to remain impartial in the ongoing violence in Afghanistan.

He said “We cannot fight Afgha­nistan’s war in Pakistan.”

The Pakistani officials had earlier given similar statements regarding the calls for the elimination of the Afghan-linked terror sanctuaries, saying such moves could endanger the security of Pakistan.

In the meantime, Gen. Bajwa said for complete impartiality in Afghan conflict Pakistan would want an early repatriation of Afghan refugees from its soil and securing of 2,600km porous border with Afghanistan, which it has already started fencing.

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier said Pakistan is expected to “take decisive action against militant groups based in Pakistan that are a threat to the region.”

The pressures by Washington on Pakistan regarding the safe havens of the terror groups are on the rise after the announcement of the new strategy by US President Donald Trump last month.

President Trump said  “For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror.  The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict.  And that could happen.”

He said the next pillar of the new strategy is to change the approach and how to deal with Pakistan, emphasizing that we can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond, emphasizing that Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan.  It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists. -KP

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