US policies responsible for regional instability, says Sartaj Aziz

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, on Monday said United States (US) policies were responsible for instability in South Asia, urging the Obama administration to analyse its role – and that of its allies – in the the region.

Winding up discussion on an adjournment motion in the Upper House, moved by Senator Mushahid Hussain, about US President Barack Obama’s recent remarks that instability will continue for decades in Pakistan, Aziz said: “Pakistan’s answer to instability is the strengthening democracy in the country.”

“The US created ‘holy warriors’ in our tribal areas during the ‘Afghan Jihad’ and then left them as soon as the war was over, a factor which contributed to decades of instability in Pakistan and the region,” asserted Aziz.

Talking about external threats to the country’s stability, Aziz added that since 2013, Pakistan has been pursuing a policy of non-interference and is not taking part in other nations’ wars.

The foreign affairs adviser said, “We have decided that we are not going to indulge in fighting other countries’ wars now, and this policy is being pursued vigorously by the government.”

“Pakistan has also taken a strong stance against terrorism. Operation Zarb-i-Azb in tribal areas and the operation against criminals in Karachi have helped improve the internal security situation of the country,” he said.

In his last State of the Union address, US President Obama had warned: “Instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world – in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of central America, Africa and Asia.”

Obama also identified a link between militancy and instability and warned that some unstable regions might become safe havens for terrorists.

“Instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world – in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of Central America, Africa and Asia,” he had said.

Aziz had reacted to the statement the very next day and termed Obama’s predictions as distant from ground realities.

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