General

Externalizing blame should be put on notice, FO responds to Pence

Pakistan on Friday responded to US Vice President Mike Pence, saying that allies do not put each other on notice. The Foreign Office emphasised that externalizing blame should be put on notice and the focus should be on peace and reconciliation mechanisms.
In an unannounced trip to Afghanistan, Pence said that US President Donald Trump had “put Pakistan on notice for providing safe haven” to terrorists on its soil.
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said: “The statement is at variance with the extensive conversations we have had with the US administration.”
A press release by the Foreign Office stated that factors such as the exponential increase in drug production, expansion of ungoverned spaces, industrial-scale corruption, breakdown of governance, and letting Daesh gain a foothold in Afghanistan should be on notice.
Speaking to American troops at Bagram Airbase, Pence said: “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our efforts in Afghanistan. The days to shelter terrorists have gone. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists.”
Pence then flew by helicopter to Kabul, where he met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at the presidential palace.
Pence told the leaders he hoped his presence there was tangible evidence that the US was “here to see this through”.
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua expressed deep concern over Mike Pence’s comments regarding Pakistan and its role in the war against terrorism.
Addressing the Senate’s Standing Committee on External Affairs, Janjua said the recent comments by the US vice president and Pentagon were worrisome, and urged the United States to treat both Pakistan and India on an equal footing.