Pakistan rejects NATO secretary general remarks on Taliban bases

Pakistan rejects NATO secretary general remarks on Taliban bases

Pakistan on Thursday rejected NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent remarks that Taliban still have bases in Pakistan, which he had described as a “big challenge” to efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

“We have to address the big challenge that the Taliban, the insurgents are working also out of bases in Pakistan. And we have raised that several times,” Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Muhammad Faisal dismissed the charges at his weekly briefing.

“We completely reject baseless allegations of bases in Pakistan. There are no organised bases of any terrorist organisations anywhere in the country. Such fallacious assertions are counter-productive and detrimental,” the spokesman said when asked about his comments on NATO secretary general’s accusations against Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and terrorist safe havens in its territory.

“Pakistan has made unmatched sacrifices, both in blood and treasure in fighting terrorism. No country has done more than Pakistan, or suffered more than Pakistan in combating the menace of terrorism,” the spokesman said.

To a question on the issue of troops surge in Afghanistan by NATO, he said Pakistan has previously made many statements on this issue.

“Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict, and a political solution is imperative for lasting peace and stability. It is very important for Afghanistan to be at peace with itself and its neighbours,” he said.

The spokesman said Pakistan has undertaken comprehensive and successful counter-terrorism operations in the last four years in line with its own national resolve to rid the country of terrorism.

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