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(2017-08-22) President Trump’s Strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia was discussed in the regular session of the Cabinet today. While the Cabinet has mandated the Prime Minister to take up the issue in detail in the meeting of the National Security Committee, already scheduled to be held on 24 August 2017, for a comprehensive policy response, the preliminary comments of the Foreign Office are as follows:

Pakistan has taken note of President Trump’s statement outlining elements of a new US policy on Afghanistan and South Asia.

No country in the world has done more than Pakistan to counter the menace of terrorism. No country in the world has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders. It is, therefore disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation in this effort.

Pakistan has been and will continue to be part of the global counter terrorism efforts. Pakistan and the United States have been close allies in the fight against terrorism, which is a common threat for all nations of the world. As a matter of policy, Pakistan does not allow use of its territory against any country. Instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, the US needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism.

The threat to peace and security cannot be isolated from the complex interplay of geopolitics, continued existence of festering disputes and pursuit of hegemonic policies. Non-resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains the primary obstacle to peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan reiterates its view that there is no exclusive military solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. The military action during the last 17 years has not brought peace to Afghanistan, and it is not likely to do so in the future. Only an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned politically negotiated solution can lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is committed to working with the international community towards the common objective of defeating the forces of terrorism and to promote peace and stability in the South Asian region.

22 August 2017

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