National Security Advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf, in an interview, said Pakistan did not aid and abet anyone in Afghanistan and termed the policy employed by the United States and others in the war-torn country as a failure.
Speaking to BBC’s Stephen Sackur on HARDtalk, Moeed, objecting to the host’s opening remarks, said “there was a policy employed by the United States and others who were there in Afghanistan and it was a failing policy.”
The national security advisor reminded Sackur that Pakistan was the only country that had repeatedly stated that there was no military solution to the Afghan issue.
“Our advice was not heeded. We kept saying to negotiate from a position of strength and we weren’t listened to. We are blamed and scapegoated. The results are in front of you. The facts should be for what they are,” Moeed added.
Answering a question about whether Pakistan’s security has been enhanced or diminished since the Taliban take over of Afghanistan, the NSA said it depended on how the international community played its role in the future in regards to the region.
When Moeed was asked about the incumbent government’s negotiations with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the host also referred to the recent proceedings in the Supreme Court of Pakistan during which Prime Minister Imran Khan was questioned over the government’s ongoing talks with the militant outfit.
“Is the government going to sign a document of defeat with those who killed these children? Are we going to surrender once again?,” Sackur quoted the bench’s remarks, which referred to the 2014 Peshawar Army Public School (APS) attack in which more than 145 people, mostly schoolchildren, were martyred.
Moeed stated that all stakeholders need to be taken into confidence. “There are parents who lost children, brothers who lost their sisters, sons who lost their fathers. There are problems with the tribes because they were wiped out.”
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“We have a consistent policy as a state that negotiations must happen from a position of strength. This is what we told the US and others for 20 years for Afghanistan and I wish they would have listened. The TTP was getting its support from India and Afghan intelligence and that lifeline is gone.”
“They co-existed with the Afghan Taliban as they had contacts. We are in the position of strength because we know that they are reeling at this moment. What we are saying is that, if they (TTP), are willing to go through the due process of the law in the courts of Pakistan, live according to the Constitution of Pakistan, get punished for whatever crimes they committed, renounce violence forever (then), we want to hear what they want to say,” he added.
The security advisor also rebuffed news reports regarding the release of some TTP prisoners as a part of the recent ceasefire agreement with the federal government.
“We are hearing them out if they are serious about this or not. There are families and thousands of Pakistanis who are linked with them in one way or the other. But, the state’s job is not to kill another Pakistani. We are going to make sure that Pakistanis are safe without any more blood being spilt on either side,” said Moeed.