Pakistan wants the US’s trust, not its financial assistance: COAS
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan does not want material or financial assistance from the US, but needs to be trusted and treated with respect, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa told US Ambassador David Hale on Wednesday.
The two had a meeting at the army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, where Hale briefed Gen Bajwa on the US’s new South Asia policy announced by President Donald Trump a day earlier, according to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations ─ the military’s media wing.
While announcing the new Afghan policy ─ which calls for greater troop deployment and Indian involvement in Afghanistan ─ Trump had lambasted Pakistan for offering for offering safe havens to “agents of chaos”.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations,” the US president had said.
Responding to the invective, the army chief said: “We are not looking for any material or financial assistance from the US, but trust, understanding and [an] acknowledgement of our contributions.”
According to the ISPR statement, the COAS highlighted the importance of peace in Afghanistan for Pakistan and highlighted the efforts made by Pakistan to that end.
The army chief added that such efforts were “not [meant] to appease anyone but [were taken] in line with [Pakistan’s] national interest and policy,” the ISPR statement said.
Gen Bajwa further said that collaboration between all stakeholders in the key to bringing the war in Afghanistan to its logical conclusion, the ISPR statement said.
Hale told the COAS that the US values Pakistan’s role in the so-called “War against Terror” and seeks the country’s cooperation in resolving the Afghan issue, the statement added.
A day earlier, the ambassador had similarly briefed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Washington’s new policy and statements made by Trump regarding Pakistan.
During the meeting, Asif had told the ambassador that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community to eliminate the menace of terrorism. -DN