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Pakistan reminds US of its sacrifices

Publication Date : 09-05-2012

 

As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapped up her visit to India, the war of words between her and Pakistan’s Foreign Office over Islamabad's commitment to fighting terrorism continued.

Offended by some of the statements Secretary Clinton made during her stay in India, the Foreign Office reminded her about the "unparalleled sacrifices" rendered by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

"We made enormous sacrifices in this regard that remain unparalleled," spokesman Moazzam Khan said yesterday.

He said Pakistan's commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism could not be doubted.

A day after she claimed Al Qaeda kingpin was hiding in Pakistan and accused the government of not acting against Lashkar-i-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, alleged to have masterminded the Mumbai attacks, Clinton repeated the 'do more' mantra.

"We look to the government of Pakistan to do more," Clinton told a joint news conference with Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, adding "it (Pakistan government) needs to make sure that its territory is not used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks anywhere."

Khan said Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts were in its own national interest and needed no outside lecturing.

He recalled that national consensus existed on eliminating terrorism and extremism.

The parliament, he said, reaffirmed that commitment through the guidelines on US ties adopted last month.

He said the parliament had unequivocally stated that no one would be allowed to use Pakistan’s territory against others.

It was too early to say what impact the latest exchange of statements would have on the re-engagement process, but analysts say it would for sure further vitiate the atmosphere.

Negotiations on new terms of bilateral engagements have been held up because of US reluctance to apologise for the death of 24 troops in the Nov 26 Salala attack and its refusal to discuss a parliamentary demand for cessation of drone attacks.

Reuters adds: The Indian foreign minister joined Ms Clinton in calling for Pakistan to get tougher on militants within its borders.

"Recent attacks in Kabul highlight once again the need for elimination of terrorist sanctuaries in the neighbourhood and the need for stronger action from Pakistan on terrorism, including on bringing to justice the perpetrators of (the) Mumbai terrorist attack," Krishna said.

The US ambassador to Afghanistan last month blamed an assault on embassies and parliament in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network and again demanded that Islamabad go after the group.

Pakistan denies claims that it sees the Haqqanis as a strategic asset to counter the influence of India in Afghanistan.

 

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