Diplomacy of deadlines, redlines is counterproductive: Pak ambassador to US

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry said that diplomacy of deadlines and redlines is counterproductive in meeting common threats to Pakistan and the United States.
The statement by Pakistan’s ambassador to the US came in response to the US’ suspension of security assistance to Islamabad.
Chaudhry, in a statement, said that they are engaged with the US administration on the issue and await further details.
“It, however, needs to be appreciated that Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources, which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years,” the statement read.
“We believe that Pakistan-US cooperation in fighting terrorism has directly served US national security interests.”
The ambassador stated that the cooperation between the two nations has helped fight Al-Qaeda and other groups, who took advantage of ungoverned spaces along a long porous border and posed a common threat to both the countries.
He said that Pakistan, through series of major operations cleared all these areas resulting in significant improvement in the country’s security.
“A similar action needs to be taken on the Afghan side, which has vast stretches of ungoverned spaces,” Chaudhry stressed, in his statement, adding, “Working towards enduring peace requires patience and persistence.”
The Pakistani diplomat pointed to the emergence of new and more deadly groups like Daesh in Afghanistan, which he said, calls for enhancing international cooperation.
He noted that “diplomacy of deadlines and redlines is counterproductive in meeting such common threats.”
With regard to Pakistan’s placement on a ‘Special Watch List’ by the US, Chaudhry said they have noted the announcement by the State Department and have been seeking clarifications from the US side regarding its rationale and implications.
He, however, said that “Pakistan is firmly committed to promotion and protection of human rights including the right to religious freedom, under its Constitution.”
The ambassador said that the Government of Pakistan has taken wide-ranging legislative, institutional and administrative measures to ensure full coverage of guarantees afforded by the Constitution.
“The international community is well aware of incremental steps being taken by Pakistan that have brought about positive change on ground,” he said, adding that in the past year alone, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has come up with landmark decisions setting important precedents with regard to enforcement of the relevant constitutional provisions, in letter and spirit.
“We will continue to work with the international community with a view to ensure that internationally agreed standards on religious freedom are observed in Pakistan and the broader region,” Chaudhry said.