“Pakistan contributes to the fight against terrorism and is committed to working with America to meet the challenges”
April 27, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Pakistan Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry to USA was recently interviewed by Ms. Hadeel Oueis of Al-Riyadh daily newspaper in Washington. The detailed interview in Arabic can be retrieved from http://www.alriyadh.com/1677551. During the interview, Ambassador dilated upon matters related to Pakistan-US relations and the regional situation.
Hadeel Oueis: “Aizaz Chaudhry, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, who chose to face the decisions of the White House realistically and vigorously in the US capital to try to heal the rift between the two countries.”
Excerpts of the interview (translated in English from Arabia as best as we could):
Do you think the tension between Pakistan and the United States will last longer?
Pakistan and the United States have a rich history of relations and common coordination throughout history. The relationship between the two countries has faced a number of challenges, but the past has proved that the two countries can achieve many good results through joint coordination. Pakistan remains committed to working with the United States to meet the challenges facing both the two countries.
After stopping aid for Pakistan, do you expect escalating tensions in the relationship?
Pakistan stressed its desire to remain open and maintain lines (of communication) with the United States on the basis of respect and mutual trust. We try to maintain bridges of return to overcome any differences. The tension in the bilateral relationship does not serve any country and is considered an obstacle to achieving peace and stability.
What is the belief in Trump’s administration that Pakistan is not doing enough to fight terrorism?
The facts speak, Pakistan has carried out comprehensive anti-terrorism operations that have pushed the militants out of our areas completely. As a result, there is no organized presence of militants in Pakistan today and the proportion of terrorist attacks in Pakistan has been steadily decreasing since 2014 and certainly this would not have been possible without our comprehensive counterterrorism operations.
Any observer knows that America’s counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan is almost impossible without Pakistan. Does Trump’s administration realize this fact?
Pakistan remains committed to working with the United States to bring peace to Afghanistan In recent weeks, the United States has asked us to help with reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. We have told them that we are making great efforts to achieve reconciliation, but this process can not succeed without giving an important and essential role in reconciliation to the Afghan government and people. .
Do you think the United States will succeed in putting an end to the long Afghan tragedy soon?
Pakistan has long proposed a “political and peaceful solution” as the only way to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan and we are ready to support any efforts in this regard.
Former US Secretary of State Tillerson, before leaving the administration, said President Trump would press hard to achieve peace and end the war in Afghanistan. How do you see the Taliban in the future, do you see it as a political group with a party, for example, or do they see it as isolated?
The fate of the Taliban or any other Afghan group is a matter for the Afghan people to decide, after all this expensive price that we have paid to see our neighbor as a stable Afghanistan and push any direction for peace for Afghanistan and the region.
In the light of the victories against Daesh in Syria or Iraq, do you think Afghanistan or Pakistan will be fertile ground for this radical organization in the future?
There are credible reports that the Daesh are exploiting vast areas that are not subject to state authority inside Afghanistan. These areas expand over time. Pakistan has cleared all its territory of any armed presence, which has cost us great human resources and financial resources, but we have insisted on the removal of any armed groups from our territory for our national security. Our operations included not only the tribal and remote areas, but also every militant escaping into the urban areas of Pakistan. He tried to identify with the population in a wide operation called “thunder of corruption.” We also continue to deprive the militants of any areas of influence they seek to expand, and from using our territory as a base for their activities.
How do you describe Pakistan’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, especially the kingdom?
Pakistan always seeks fraternal relations with the Arab countries, especially the Kingdom, where Pakistan has many nationals and natural affinity with the Kingdom as Saudi Arabia stood with Pakistan in every ordeal and crisis.
In the minds of Westerners, places like Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan are now tied to Usama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and Washington. What are you doing as ambassador in Washington to change this picture?
Unfortunately, there is a big gap between the Americans’ perception of Pakistan and the reality on the ground. Since taking over as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington last year, I have put a great deal of emphasis on communicating with the American community to bridge this gap. I have traveled extensively and talked to students at major US universities. We have introduced the diverse and pluralistic side of the Pakistani people through our Pakistani students in America. American youth in particular have been interested in Pakistan, and Americans of Pakistani origin are peaceful citizens, committed to American laws, enriching American society and American culture in many ways. During my mission, highlighting the achievements of Pakistani society in America has been my top priority.