ISLAMABAD: Pakistan itself is a victim of state-sponsored terrorism and it strongly rejects allegations of employing proxies from its soil, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa told United States (US) National Security Adviser Gen HR McMaster during a meeting, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
In a video of McMaster’s subsequent meeting with Gen Bajwa, tweeted by ISPR Director General (DG) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday, visiting dignitary was briefed on Pakistan’s war on terror and its contributions to regional and global stability.
The ISPR DG said that during the meeting, “It was highlighted that distinguished feature of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism effort is focused against terrorists of all hues and colours.”
Maj Gen Ghafoor added that the US NSA had acknowledged the army’s efforts towards elimination of terrorists and their infrastructure, and had assured “US support to bring peace and stability in the region and globe”.
A day earlier, McMaster had held meetings with top civilian and military officials, during which he was apprised of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and initiatives, which have resulted in a marked improvement in the overall security situation.
Before his meetings in Pakistan, McMaster had visited Afghanistan, where he hinted at the US taking a tougher line on Islamabad. In an interview with Afghan news agency TOLO, McMaster said, “As all of us have hoped for many, many years, we have hoped that Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after these [militant] groups less selectively than they have in the past and the best way to pursue their interest in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through diplomacy not through the use of proxies that engage in violence.”
Meanwhile, McMaster discussed the situation in Afghanistan with India’s prime minister on Tuesday. The US embassy said that the two also discussed ways to increase defence and counter-terrorism cooperation, and McMaster assured Modi of India’s status as a major defence partner in the global fight against terrorism.
Indian TV stations broadcast images of McMaster and Modi, each flanked by officials, sitting together at Modi’s home in the Indian capital. McMaster also held two-hour-long talks with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval.