Pakistan strongly React against US State Department Annual Country Report on Terrorism 2019

Pakistan strongly React against US State Department Annual Country Report on Terrorism 2019

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Thursday rejected the U.S. State Department’s Annual Country Report on Terrorism 2019, terming it “self-contradictory and selective” in its characterization of Pakistan’s efforts for countering terrorism and terrorist financing.

“We reject any insinuation about any safe haven. Pakistan will not allow any group or entity to use its territory against any country, the Foreign Office said in a statement in response to the U.S State Department report accusing Pakistan of harbouring terrorism.

The Foreign Office said on the contrary, Pakistan faced 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,” it 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 terrorist group once posed to the world,” it pointed out.

The Foreign Office said similarly, the Report acknowledged sharp decrease in the incidence of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, however neglected to explain that “this was only possible because Pakistan’s resolute counter-terrorism operations had targeted proscribed groups and outfits without discrimination.”

The statement mentioned that Pakistan was fully aware of its responsibilities as a sovereign state.

“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,” it said.

The Foreign Office emphasized that in recent months, Pakistan prosecuted and convicted the leadership of several proscribed groups, which was also acknowledged by the United States elsewhere but only merit a passing mention in the Report.

It highlighted that Pakistan also continued to implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan, and had undertaken wide-ranging and systemic reforms to that end.

“While it notes the progress made by Pakistan under the Action Plan, the Report did not capture the political commitment, revamping of Pakistan’s AML/CFT regime, and our consistent and sustainable actions which have also been recognized by FATF,” it stressed.

“Finally, 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,” it added.

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

“Pakistan hopes that future U.S. reports will fully acknowledge the entire spectrum of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and present a fair and correct perspective of this global threat,” it said.