International Affairs

Militants posing threats to Pakistan ideology: Holbrooke

ISLAMABAD: The US special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said that the Taliban do not believe in ideology of Pakistan given by father of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah and want to destroy the ideology and the democracy.

In his ever first interview with Dr. Shahid Masood in “Meray Mutabiq” here on Friday, he said that Baitullah Masud, Fazlullah, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar are those people who do not ready to accept moderate and democratic Pakistan rather want to destabilize it.

When asked that the name of militants are not disclosed killed in the drone attacks, he said that Islamabad is responsible to answer the question as the US is working with it against the terrorism but everybody knows these people like Baitullah Masud, Fazlullah, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar who penetrated into Pakistani society to threat Pakistan.

He went on saying that the news published in some sections of the US media regarding secret agreement between Bush-Musharraf administrations on the drone attacks as Islamabad will only condemn the attacks but to know the truth it is better to ask such questions from the previous administrations.

He said that it is very necessary for people of Pakistan to know the truth about these attacks as they are protesting against them both at the public and the parliament level; therefore, the issued should be clarified.

He, however, rejected Islamabad’s claims that the attack are creating hatred among Pakistanis against the US saying that the US came here to help Pakistan against militants who are posing threats to integrity and ideology of Pakistan.

When asked regarding the US reservations about ISI, he said that ISI Chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha is doing everything in the interest of his country. Rejecting the news published in media that Lieutenant General Pasha declined to meet him and Admiral Mike Mullen during their last visit to Islamabad, Holbrooke said that he and Mullen held meeting with him and on another occasion he and ISI Chief discussed situation of the region in detail.

Responding another question regarding tension in Pak-US relations, he said that there is no such difference between Pak-US administrations over the war on terror as both the countries are combating with the common enemy. He said that all terrorist are jointly working against Pakistan to destabilize it; therefore, without joint Pak-US efforts the terrorists cannot be defeated. He went on saying that the terrorist are not only threat to Pakistan and US but also to India as well, the Mumbai incident is the clear example of it.

He said that Pakistan is the only country which leadership was invited twice during last three month which shows the close Pak-US close ties. President Obama is eager to meet with President Zardari during his up coming visit in May.

When asked about US role regarding restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on the night of March 15, he said that the US played mediatory role between PML-N and PPP and asked them to work together for betterment of the country. He said that at last President Zardari took positive decision of restoring Chieef Justice Chaudhry which normalized the whole situation.

Answering to a question regarding the US dealing with whom—- President Zardari or General Kayani, he said that it is exactly difficult to answer as everybody has different approach in democracy. He, however, rejected the autonomous image of Pak army saying that General Kayani and General Pasha are completely supporting to the government.

To another question about Indian role, he said that Indian is the second largest country of the world; so, it is necessary to talk to Pakistan’s neighbors including China and Afghanistan to resolve its issue. He, however, said that US never urged India to do any thing in Afghanistan.-SANA

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Noreen Gill

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