ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday expressed the hope that the United States would meet Islamabad’s requirements in the fight against terrorism without any further delay.
“While Pakistan remains determined to continue the Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorism, we hope our friends, who are fully cognizant of our requirements in this fight, would also enhance efforts at their end to meet them expeditiously”, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Fazlullah said at his weekly news briefing on Thursday.
Qazi Fazlullah made the comment in response to a question regarding President Obama’s recent remarks about Pakistan in an interview with Indian media saying Pakistan needs more to do in the fight against terrorism.
The spokesperson said the international community, including the US, has acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to combating terrorism and had suffered enormous human and financial losses in this effort.
“While our resources are overstretched, we remain determined to root out the menace of terrorism from the soil of Pakistan, as well as from the region through a cooperative approach”, he added.
The United States has been dilly dallying to fulfil its commitment in providing score of F-16s jet combat aircraft as well as some essential spare parts to Pakistan to fight terrorism.
Pakistan has submitted its wish-list to the United States during the recent meeting of the US-Pakistan Working Group on Security and Defence held in the United States.
The United States has also been quite vocal for the past few months over continuation of reimbursement of expenses to Pakistan under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) beyond 2016.
Both Islamabad and Washington are still engaged to sort out these issues, which analysts fear could cause a serious dent to the Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts as well as the pace of its ongoing major operation Zarb-e-Zab.
Commenting on the joint Indian-French statement on terrorism, the spokesperson said Pakistan has rendered enormous sacrifices in the war on terror to make the world a safer place and these sacrifices have also been appreciated by world community.
The joint statement was issued during the recent visit of the French President François Hollande to India. The spokesperson reminded that that terrorism is not only India’s problem but also that of Pakistan and the world at large.
He also urged India to do away with its practice of hurling unsubstantiated terror allegations against Pakistan saying such practice undermines collaborative efforts to eliminate terrorism from the region.
“Terrorism is a problem for Pakistan and the world at large, not just India,” Khalilullah emphasized.
He hoped New Delhi will share with Islamabad the outcome of investigations into the Samjhota Express terrorist attack.
With regard to your question regarding India’s defence deals with France, reiterated that international arms transfers should take into account the imperatives for maintaining strategic balance and stability in our region.
On bilateral talks between Pakistan and India, the spokesperson said foreign secretaries of both the countries are in touch with each other to finalize a date for the talks.
Commenting on Pakistan’s mediation initiative to ease tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the spokesperson reiterated that Pakistan considers efforts for promoting unity among the Muslim Ummah as a sacred duty.
He said that leaders of both Saudi Arabia and Iran appreciated Pakistan’s initiative to reduce tensions between them. “We are in touch with both the countries and our good offices remain available to them”, the spokesperson added.
Earlier at the outset, Fateh was offered for departed soul of Pakistan’s former foreign minister Sahabzada Yuqub Khan.