Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa today said Pakistan is not using militant groups as proxies, asserting that the country is itself a victim of “state- sponsored” terrorism.
His remarks came a day after US National Security Adviser H R McMaster asked Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership to confront terrorism in all its forms during a meeting with them.
“Pakistan itself is a victim of state-sponsored terrorism. It strongly rejects allegations of employing proxies from its soil,” the army said in a statement quoting Bajwa.
The army said that McMaster, who arrived here during an unannounced visit, the first by a top Trump administration official to this country, was briefed about Pakistan’s war on terror and its contributions to regional and global stability during the meeting.
“In the meeting it was highlighted that distinguished feature of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism effort is focused against terrorists of all hues and colours,” the statement said.
“The US NSA acknowledged Pakistan army’s efforts in eliminating terrorists and their infrastructure, assuring US support to bring peace and stability in the region and globe,” it said.
McMaster held talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Gen Bajwa, Pakistan NSA Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi.
McMaster’s visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan comes just days after the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb targeting an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan, close to the border with Pakistan.
This was McMaster’s first visit to Pakistan as the US NSA and the first formal high-level exchange between the US and Pakistan under the new Donald Trump Administration.