WASHINGTON - Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi has said Pakistan wants the United States to continue the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), meant for anti-terror war, even after withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
Talking to media persons here, Tariq Fatemi, now in the US capital for important talks, said if the objectives of the war on terror are not achieved in the next two years and Pakistan continues to fight the menace, Islamabad would like Washington to continue meeting the expenditure as in the past.
Earlier, speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on “Pakistan’s vision for regional peace, prosperity, and economic development,” Tariq Fatemi underscored Pakistan’s commitment to building a peaceful neighbourhood for regional peace, security and prosperity.
The special assistant highlighted the government’s commitment to fight terrorism and extremism in all its forms through a comprehensive and consensus-based approach. He said the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan will continue till the area is cleared of all terrorists without any distinction or discrimination.
The United States has so far been reimbursing Pakistan from the Coalition Support Fund. The fund may expire after the expected US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Now if the objectives (of the US-led war against terror) remain unaccomplished for another year or two and if Pakistan continues providing that service, we will expect reimbursement of those expenses,” said Fatemi.
He denied a US media report that Pakistan had asked the United States to re-evaluate its withdrawal plan because the objectives of the war against terror had not yet been achieved.
The US troops were deployed in Afghanistan under an arrangement with the two countries and “it is not for us to comment on how long they should or should not stay,” he said.
“The government of Pakistan has not stated either privately or publicly any preference as regards the stationing of the US troops,” he added.
The adviser said the NWA offensive would continue till the main objective of eliminating terrorism was achieved.
“No discrimination or distinction will be made as regards nationality, ethnicity and political affiliations of the militants. All militants are targets and this operation will continue till the objective is achieved.”
Fatemi explained that in the second phase, the focus would be on reconstruction and on the massive task of resettlement of refugees.
“This is a long, arduous and expensive exercise, but an exercise that has to be undertaken if the country is to re-emerge as a moderate, modern, progressive state,” he said.
Commenting on the recent US media reports that Pakistan allowed militants of the Haqqani network to escape Fata, Fatemi said a military operation of such a massive scale could not be launched in a vacuum.
“People can see movement of troops and other elements of the operation. It is true that many people have fled, but, as a matter of policy, it was very clearly stated that all militants and terrorists, irrespective of their colour and nationality, will be targeted,” he explained.
Fatemi said that to ensure that all militants are eliminated Pakistan had requested Afghanistan to catch and eliminate militants on its side.
“This kind of reciprocal action on the other side of the international border is essential to achieve the shared objective of defeating terrorism,” he said.
Fatemi said the NWA operation will soon be expanded to other parts of the tribal belt. He said the offensive, which the military claims has resulted in over 500 militant casualties, “is not going to be confined merely to North Waziristan.”
He added: “All agencies and the entire Federally Administered Tribal Areas will be subject to the assault.”