ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday that the terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan must be eliminated immediately.
While speaking to a foreign journalist, Abbasi reiterated that the Pakistani government “has destroyed all the safe havens for terrorists inside the country.”
Pakistan has played the biggest role in the elimination of terrorism, he said, adding that it is wrong to think that Pakistan is the cause of instability in Afghanistan. “Instability in Afghanistan affects Pakistan the most.”
He added that Afghanistan can solve its own problems, adding “the Afghan issue should not be made a part of the relationship between US and Pakistan.”
Over the issue, he remarked that Pakistan is fighting agents of chaos constantly. “We want to work with the US to eliminate terrorism. If the US has any queries it should discuss them with Pakistan.”
Speaking about his governance, he said that the government has continued the development projects started by former PM Nawaz Sharif.
“Many political, social and security challenges have also been controlled by us.”
The government will complete its tenure and hopefully strengthen democracy, he added.
Abbasi earlier said it would be counter-productive for the United States to sanction Pakistani officials or further cut military assistance, warning it would hurt both countries’ fight against militancy.
The premier had said that any targeted sanctions by Washington against the Pakistani military and intelligence officials would not help US counter-terrorism efforts.
US-Pakistan relations have frayed since President Donald Trump last month set out a new Afghanistan policy and lashed out at nuclear-armed Pakistan as a fickle ally that gives safe haven to “agents of chaos” by harboring the Afghan Taliban and other militants.
The United States has already begun conditioning future aid to Pakistan on progress Islamabad makes in tackling the Haqqani network, who it alleges are Pakistan-based and have helped the Taliban carry out deadly attacks inside Afghanistan.
Pakistan denies hosting militant sanctuaries, and Islamabad bristles at claims it has not done enough to tackle militancy, noting it has borne the brunt of violence in the so-called war on terror, suffering more than 60,000 casualties since 2001.