Pakistan’s fight against terrorism cannot be questioned, says envoy

Embassy marks 53rd Defence Day in Abu Dhabi, reiterates country’s stance against extremism

Mohammed Bin Ahmad Al Bawardi ,Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Defence Affairs(centre-back raw)along with Pakistan ambassador to the UAE, Moazzam Ahmad Khan (left) and Pakistan military attache at the Pakistan defence celebration in Abu Dhabi on Thursday- Photo Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Pakistan’s commitment towards defeating the threat of terrorism cannot be questioned, with the country having made enormous sacrifices to rid itself of the scourge of extremist groups, said its ambassador to the UAE.

Ambassador Moazzam Ahmad Khan made the remarks on Thursday as the embassy marked the occasion of Defence Day in Abu Dhabi. Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, and Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, attended the reception along with other ambassadors and military representatives of several other countries.

“Terrorism is one of the biggest challenges confronting the world today. The success we have achieved in our campaign against terrorism and extremism in recent years is testimony to the same service, dedication and sacrifice that our security forces have always been known for,” said Khan.

“Within a few years of starting this campaign [against terrorism] our security forces have eliminated almost all the terrorist networks in Pakistan. We are now in the process of taking this fight to its logical end,” he added, highlighting that the fight against terrorism was nearing its end.

The ambassador hit out at US rhetoric that Pakistan was not doing enough to curb terrorism, commenting that the facts on the ground suggested otherwise.

“It’s very unfortunate there are some who question Pakistan’s commitment to eliminating terrorism and extremism. The sacrifices that our nation has made in this war has been very high, we have lost thousands of civilians and armed forces. Financially, we have spent over $100 billion in this war,” he said. “So, after all the suffering we have gone through and to still hear somebody question our commitment is very sad.

“I always say that seeing is believing. Those who have doubts can go to Pakistan today and see for themselves how we have been able to eliminate the network of terrorist groups. A few pockets still remain and we are in the process of bringing them to an end very soon,” Khan said.

Peace with India

The ambassador also commented on the peace process with India, saying his country was ready to move forward, but that it hinged on reaching a solution on Kashmir.

“We are always ready to talk about Kashmir [with India], and we are always ready to explore every option to resolve the Kashmiri issue in accordance with UN resolutions and also in consultation with Kashmiris.

“Until we resolve the Kashmir issue, talking about peace and stability in the region is like closing your eyes from reality. But we are always ready and willing to make peace. We believe that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue; there is no military solution to this issue,” he added.

UAE relations

Ambassador Khan spoke in glowing terms about Pakistan’s relations with the UAE, saying it viewed the UAE’s security and stability as a key priority of his country’s foreign policy.

“Pakistan attaches great importance to the UAE’s security, stability and prosperity, and we will continue to work closely with the UAE government to further expand and deepen existing defence and security cooperation between our countries,” he said.

The ambassador added that the UAE and Pakistan continued to maintain high level contacts in security related fields.

“We are particularly proud of our close and multifaceted defence and security relations with the UAE. These relations are marked by frequent high level engagements among the senior military leadership, training programmes, sales of military equipment, and close cooperation between our security agencies.”

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