ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tuesday said that 27 individuals suspected of belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan and the Haqqani Network were handed over to Afghanistan in November 2017.

In a series of tweets, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan continued to push any suspected TTA and HN elements to prevent them from using “our soil for any terrorist activity in Afghanistan.”

Pakistan, he said, had sacrificed 75,000 civilians and 6,000 soldiers to the scourge of terrorism. “We have one of the highest officer-to-soldier casualty rate globally and suffered economic losses worth $123 billion.

This month, the US said it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan targeting the Coalition Support Funds. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said for now the US was suspending ‘security assistance only’ to Pakistan.

She maintained that Pakistan will be able to receive the suspended funding if it took ‘decisive actions’ against the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan said it was not dependent on US aid for its war on terror. Reacting to the United States’ decision to cut aid to Pakistan, the foreign ministry said Pakistan had fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources “which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years.”

Pakistan said the money it had received from the US was mainly reimbursements for supporting US-led coalition forces after they invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

This month, US President Donald Trump had tweeted: “They (Pakistan) give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Dr Faisal said Pakistan-US cooperation in fighting terrorism had directly served US national security interests as well as the larger interests of international community.

“It has helped decimate Al-Qaeda and fight other groups who took advantage of ungoverned spaces, a long porous border and posed a common threat to peace. Through a series of major counter-terrorism operations Pakistan cleared all these areas resulting in elimination of organised terrorist presence leading to significant improvement in security in Pakistan,” he said.


Online adds: Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir has made it clear that there was no written agreement about intelligence sharing between Pakistan and the US.

In an informal talk with senior media persons at Ministry of Defence in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said there are no solid hideouts of Haqqani network, adding it was getting shelter in the camps of Afghan migrants. He further said the US, Afghanistan and India have been united against Pakistan, adding no compromise would be made on the security and defence of Pakistan.

The defence minister said that geostrategic politics have returned in the region while Pakistan has an important geostrategic role in the region. To a question, he said policies of Indian prime minister are based on aggression.

He said India violated ceasefire at Line of Control (LoC) over 2,000 times in 2017. He added India was a serious threat to peace in the region. He further said that Pakistan responds to India’s provocations in a solid way because India always used to target the civilians.

To another question, he informed that $1.3 billion US aid has been frozen while there was 62 percent decline in army aid since 2012. He said Pakistan has stopped exchanging information with India at present.

He said an option of shutting down land and air contacts was present while American think tanks were saying that the US has no alternate supply route but through Pakistan. He was of the view that COAS and National Security Adviser visited Iran to help improve ties between the two countries.

He said Pakistan has extended cooperation to all Islamic countries to provide assistance in anti-terrorism training.

He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has given a new economic depth to Pak-China friendship. He said Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese president will open new vistas of development and prosperity. He said stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan. He said Pak-Afghan border management is very essential to stop incursions.