Buckling under local and international pressure after his controversial remarks on fighting terrorism, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz today reassured his Afghan counterpart that his country was targeting “all terrorists”.
Aziz was quoted as saying by BBC Urdu in an interview on November 17 that Pakistan should not attack militants who do not a pose a direct threat to the country.
The remarks were seen as revalidation of Pakistan’s alleged distinction between “good and bad Taliban” and an excuse to spare the ISI-backed Haqqani network.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement that Aziz telephoned Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar to convey that his remarks were misquoted, as he was talking in a historical context.
“The adviser reiterated that Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism is clear and unambiguous and that Operation Zarb-e-Azb, as he stated in the BBC interview also, is targeting all terrorists, without any distinction or discrimination,” the FO said.
Aziz reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to work closely with Afghanistan to address the common challenges and continue to make progress towards a comprehensive and enduring partnership, as envisioned by the leaders of the two countries, the FO statement said.
Yesterday, opposition parties in parliament had taken the government to task due to confusion created by the remarks of Aziz.