‘Afghan peace is Pakistan’s desire, not responsibility’

WASHINGTON – Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States Aizaz Chaudhry said on Friday that Islamabad wants peace in Afghanistan but it is not its responsibility to bring stability in the neighbouring country.

“Pakistan suffers the most because of instability in Afghanistan and has the most to gain from peace in the country. We want to see peace there [Afghanistan] and so does the US. If we have the same purpose why is there suspicion on each other? Pakistan and US should work together to eliminate terrorism,” Chaudhry said in a TV interview.

The ambassador was reacting to US Vice President Mike Pence’s statement in Afghanistan regarding Trump putting “Pakistan on notice.” Speaking to American troops at Bagram Airbase, Pence said: “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our efforts in Afghanistan. The days to shelter terrorists have gone. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists.”

Earlier during an event, Chaudhry stressed that Pakistan had made great sacrifices in the war against terrorism and launched 13 military operations. A fact sheet presented on Pakistan’s sacrifices stated that the country had lost 21,000 Pakistanis including 6,800 soldiers in the war against terrorism.

According to Chaudhry, not acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices was worrisome. “The war on terrorism was imposed on us” he said.

Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry visited Friday the Medical Clinic of Muslim Community Centre (MCC) in Silver Spring, Maryland at the invitation of Pakistani American community members.

Ambassador Chaudhry was welcomed by Dr. Rashid A. Chotani, Executive Director of the MCC Medical Clinic as well as MCC board members. He was briefed on the institution’s activities and the range of medical services and treatment offered by the Clinic to individuals without medical coverage at highly subsidised costs.

Ambassador Aizaz lauded the contribution of the Pakistani American diaspora for community service, welfare and humanitarian causes in United States as well as in Pakistan. The Ambassador also commended the fact that the Clinic was providing quality services to thousands, many of whom cannot afford health coverage, without any regard for religion, race, creed or gender.

Ambassador particularly appreciated the efforts of Pakistani American community members, in spearheading such initiatives that help build interfaith harmony.

A delegation of American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC), led by Dr. Ijaz Ahmed, also called on Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry at the Embassy of Pakistan earlier today.

The delegation briefed the Ambassador about APPAC’s efforts to mobilise the Pakistani American community across the United States.

The Ambassador was apprised that APPAC’s vision was to foster better relations between Pakistan and the US by projecting a positive image of Pakistan and leveraging influence of the diaspora with US public representatives. The Ambassador appreciated APPAC’s efforts to establish a platform to bring together Pakistani American community members from all over the United States. He welcomed APPAC’s intent to establish chapters in every state and build partnerships with other community organisations. The Ambassador extended full support to APPAC’s objectives and emphasised that the Pakistani American community could act as a bridge between Pakistan and the US.


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