Pakistani NSA gives a strong message to US over Afghanistan issue
ISLAMABAD – National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yusuf said Pakistan should not be made a scapegoat as the country aimed to work collectively in Afghanistan however he added that it’ll require fixing the bilateral relationship between the sides.
Speaking with a US-based publication over the phone, Yusuf said Pakistan is a victim in war against terror despite having nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.
He added that the South Asian country acted as a ‘front-line state’ in the US-led war against terrorism in Afghanistan, which later caused a major backlash in Pakistan.
Emphasizing future plans, he said, “let’s let all that pass and we need to work out how to move forward as partners because neither side can do without the other in terms of stability in the region”.
The United States and Pakistan have a shared interest in working together in Afghanistan but it will require fixing the bilateral relationship, he clarified.
US-backed govt in Afghanistan used Pakistan as a scapegoat to ‘excuse its own corruption and unpopularity’. Following the past encounters, “I’m not asking for any sympathy for my country but I’m thinking in terms of pure US selfish national interests. How does it help to push away a country of this size, stature, and power?”, he questioned.
He further added that Pakistan contributed to bringing the insurgents on table talk at Washington’s request; it’s the US who got cut out of the negotiations.
Commenting on the rapid changes in the neighboring country, he said “Did Pakistan tell the Afghan National Army not to fight? Or Did Pakistan tell Ashraf Ghani to escape?”
Adding that, “Somebody was lying and was misreporting, or somebody was mistaken about the reality as the entire state collapsed in a week”. Yusuf went on to say that we want the US to increase its diplomatic and economic involvement in Afghanistan and to find a way forward to engage diplomatically with the new setup.
“The United States should not isolate Afghanistan to punish its new rulers”, he opined. US-Pakistan relationship can’t be just about war raged Afghanistan as both sides share a broader range of interests. But first, the US must learn the lessons of the 90s, when it abandoned Afghanistan. "Otherwise it can expect a similar outcome", he added.
Moeed further warned saying “If a security vacuum is left in Afghanistan by abandoning it, you will see that terrorist organizations take root again”.