Pakistan on Wednesday said US President Donald Trump’s warning to it was disappointing, adding Washington must work with Islamabad “instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens”. In a new strategy to win America’s longest war, Trump accused Pakistan of “housing the very terrorists that we (Americans) are fighting” in Afghanistan. The Pakistan Foreign Office said Trump had ignored the contributions and sacrifices Pakistan had made in fighting terrorism. “No country has done more than Pakistan to counter the menace of terrorism. No country has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. The statement followed a cabinet meeting that discussed the new American strategy unveiled on late Monday. “It is disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation,” it added. It said Pakistan does not allow use of its territory against any country. “Instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, the US needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism.”
Pakistan has been accused by American and Afghan officials of harbouring terrorist sanctuaries — a charge Islamabad denies. Pakistan said there can be “no exclusive military solution to the crisis in Afghanistan. The military action during the last 17 years has not brought peace to Afghanistan, and it is not likely to do so in the future. “Only an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned politically negotiated solution can lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan,” it added.
Pakistan is reaching out to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China before issuing a detailed rejoinder to Trump’s new Afghan strategy. Prior to the cabinet huddle, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi flew to Lahore to meet his deposed predecessor Nawaz Sharif.