LONDON: Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Tuesday that Pakistan has been facing multi-dimensional problems since coming into being many because of the unsolved agenda by the UK that he said led to a lot of bickering n confrontations including three to four wars.
He said this while delivering a lecture here at International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) on Pakistan’s security perspective.
Chaudhry Nisar said Pakistan has faced security dilemma repeatedly not because of faults from within but because of regional issues. “It started with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; Pakistan has been weathering the fall out firstly by the Soviets and then the US invasion of Afghanistan post 9/11,” he added.
“All our issues are not of our own making…we have been on our own. We have been left alone by the world to fight terror…there have been words of sympathy but we have been defending ourselves for the mess others created.”
Terming the 9/11 incident very unfortunate, inhumane and unacceptable, the interior minister said it had no Pakistani connection. “All suicide bombers were not Pakistanis and were never in Pakistan, but what happened post 9/11 the entire world fell on Pakistan,” he added.
Criticizing former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Nisar said Musharraf should not have rushed into the war. “Pakistan’s dignity was compromised…a military dictator put Pakistan at stake and that fateful decision is continuing to cost us.”
He said six to seven terrorism incidents were taking place on daily basis when his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party came into power in 2013. “It was a security mess, almost every day there was terror, militants were attacking across length and breadth of Pakistan. Over 2200 terror incidents were recorded in one year,” he added.
He admitted many Pakistanis were taken in by the extremist ideology, saying they felt that the mantra of Taliban was right. “They thought they were fighting against US invasion; it became kosher to act against Pakistan.
“There was no policy coordination to counter this madness. The previous government had no clue…people called me friend of Taliban but we had a great strategy as we first went for dialogue and then military action…civil-military collaboration and public opinion changed against militants.”
Interior Minister Nisar said Pakistan-UK relations have never been so better but still there are so many areas to improve. “I told Theresa May that we need to work on a timeline, told her that high level security meetings should be held. I have invited her to visit Pakistan in September and we want to take this cooperation to higher level.”
Terming bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States ‘love-hate relationship’, Nisar said: “our US friends must respect the sensitivity of Pakistan…relations with Pakistan shouldn’t be put in the sense of dollars but dignity of a nation of millions.”
He said Muslims were not an enemy of the West as over 80 per cent targets of Islamist terror groups were Muslims. “Islam is anti thesis of terrorism…terrorists have distorted the name of Islam. Take Muslims with you they will stand with you because they are the biggest victims of terrorism.”
The interior minister said there was no distinction of good and bad Taliban in Pakistan anymore.
“However, I agree that it existed before and that caused problems; the current military took notice of this negativity in the heart of APS meeting and General Raheel Sharif took notice; he has taken notice and taken action.
“I explained this to Americans that current military chief is not Msuharraf, Gen Raheel will not take you up to the hill.”