US contributed to decades of instability in Pakistan, region: Sartaj Aziz

ISLAMABAD: The US created "holy warriors" in Pakistan's tribal areas during the "Afghan jihad" and then left them as soon as the war was over which contributed to decades of instability in the country and the region, Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Monday. 

During a discussion on an adjournment motion in the Senate, 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," Aziz was quoted as saying by Dawn News. 

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

"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," he said. 

"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 added. 

In his last State of the Union Address last week, 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 had also identified a link between militancy and instability and warned that some unstable regions might become safe havens for terrorists. Aziz had rejected Obama's assertion the next day.



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