Pakistan lodges protest with US over Pentagon report

Pakistan lodges protest with US over Pentagon report

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The prime minister’s adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz conveyed Pakistan`s protest with the US ambassador Richard Olson over comments contained in a recent report released by the US department of defence, the foreign office said on Wednesday.

In its latest report published on Tuesday, the Pentagon told the US Congress that Pakistan is using “proxy forces” to carry out attacks in Afghanistan and India.

“Afghan – and India – focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military,” the reported said.

In a statement, the foreign office said that the government of Pakistan takes serious exception to comments contained in the US department of defence report sent to the Congress under the title “Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan”.

The foreign office said that while noting Pakistan’s cooperation with the US in areas of mutual interests, the report also carries unsubstantiated allegations of the existence of terrorist “sanctuaries” or that proxy forces are operating from here against Afghanistan and India.

“Such allegations are of particular concern at this point when Pakistan government has launched comprehensive operations against militants in North Waziristan,” the foreign office said in the statement.

It said that the military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ has been broadly welcomed internationally including in the US.

“The operation has successfully eliminated terrorist hideouts and is directed against all militants, without any distinction. We therefore hope that the issues will be seen in their correct perspective,” the statement said.

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