LONDON - Pakistani High Commissioner in London Wajid Shamsul Hassan has condemned provocative remarks of former British foreign secretary Liam Fox, warning that such ‘negative propaganda’ may affect bilateral relations of the two friendly countries.
In his article in British newspaper Daily Mail, Liam Fox criticised Pakistan’s premiere intelligence agency ISI, expressed doubts over security of country’s nuclear arsenal and depicted Pakistan as a threat to world peace.
Wajid pointed out that Pakistan is a frontline state in war against terrorism. The envoy said that issuance of such uncalled for statements against Pakistani institutions are also against the international regulations. Fox in his article termed Pakistan as one of the most sensitive countries of the world as its nuclear assets are likely to go in the hand of terrorists. He said law and order situation in Pakistan was more sensitive as compared to Somalia and Yemen. He also alleged that Jihadi organisations were active in the country and Afghan Taliban were still getting support from all sections of the society.
“When economic and government systems fail, anarchy or terrorism can follow all too easily. We are already battling these forces in places such as Somalia and Yemen, but one country stands out in terms of the risks it poses, Pakistan” he remarked. “I don’t have any personal animosity towards Pakistan or its people and enjoyed both my visits there and the people I was fortunate enough to meet. On balance, however, I think it is probably the most dangerous country in the world,“ he added.
British diplomat also criticised Pakistan’s secret agency Interior Services Intelligence (ISI).
This is not as a result of any malign intent but as a consequence of its inherent political instability, the unpredictable and sometimes malevolent behaviour of its intelligence services, the ISI, its willingness to share nuclear technology with rogue states and others, and its potential to export terrorism, he alleged.
None of this means we should be over-pessimistic or fatalistic about Pakistan but instead be realistic about the risks that it poses. Ostracism and punishment might work with rogue states with whom we have little or no common interests but are likely to be counter-productive when used against a state such as Pakistan, from which we require collaboration - and ultimately an end to a dependency relationship which sees it requiring larger and larger amounts of international aid.
Fox believed Pakistan will be one of the most important puzzles for the international community to solve if they are to maintain peace and stability and stop the export of transnational terrorism.