ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday said that it was disappointed at the US State Department’s Annual Country Report on Terrorism for 2019 which ignores Pakistan’s role against terrorism.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a statement issued here that the report was “self-contradictory and selective in its characterization of Pakistan’s efforts for countering terrorism and terrorist financing.”

In a statement, she said while the report recognizes that Al-Qaeda has been seriously degraded in the region, it neglects to mention Pakistan’s crucial role in decimating Al Qaeda, thereby diminishing the threat that the group once posed to the world.

She said that the report acknowledges the sharp decrease in the incidence of terrorist attacks in Pakistan. However, it neglects to explain that this was possible only because Pakistan’s resolute counter-terrorism operations have targeted proscribed groups and outfits without discrimination.

The spokesperson said Pakistan was fully aware of its responsibilities as a sovereign state.

She added: “We reject any insinuation about any safe haven. Pakistan will not allow any group or entity to use its territory against any country.”

On the contrary, she said, it is Pakistan that faces the threat of terrorism from externally based and foreign sponsored groups, like the TTP, ISIS-K and others.

“The report is again either silent or vague on the origins and locations of these terrorist groups,” the spokesperson said.

Aisha Farooqui said Pakistan remains committed to fulfilling its obligations under the UNSC 1267 sanctions regime for the freezing of assets and denial of funds and economic resources to all designated entities and individuals.

She said that Pakistan also continues to implement the FATF Action Plan, and has undertaken wide-ranging and systemic reforms to that end.

She said that the Report fails to acknowledge the full extent of Pakistan’s support for the Afghan peace process, which has created a historic opportunity for lasting peace in the region.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan’s positive contribution and facilitation of US-Taliban direct talks culminating in the Peace Agreement of 29 February 2020 are widely acknowledged, including by the U.S. and its leadership.

The US State Department, in its Congressional-mandated 2019 Country Reports on Terrorism, alleged Pakistan remained a “safe harbour” for regionally-focused terrorist groups and that the suspension of US aid to the country remained in effect throughout 2019.

This week, the US also vetoed a joint move by Pakistan and China to designate an Afghanistan-based Indian national as a global terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions List of the United Nations Security Council, it emerged on Wednesday.

The counter-terrorism committee deals with individuals, groups, undertakings and entities linked with al Qaeda and ISIS. In September last year, Islamabad and Beijing had moved a joint proposal, seeking to declare Venumadhav Dongara, a Kabul-based Indian national as an internationally-wanted terrorist for supplying weapons, ammunition and explosives to a terrorist group which allegedly attacked the Camp Badaber, an airbase of Pakistan Air Force in Peshawar, in 2015.

The move was, however, put on technical hold by Washington, citing “lack of evidence”, who, subsequently, vetoed the proposal.