Sharif’s envoys say Pakistan not internationally isolated

Challenging the rising perception that Pakistan is “facing diplomatic isolation”, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawab Sharif’s envoys claimed on Friday, that Islamabad was committed to rooting out terrorism in all forms and shapes.

“Campaign against terrorism has to be comprehensive, clear, and has to be all out,” Mushahid Hussain, one of Sharif’s two special Kashmir Envoys told a Washington audience at an interaction organised by the Stimson Center, a US think-tank.

“Pakistan has waged one of the most difficult and successful fights against inland terrorists,” he said, acknowledging that “there are remnants of terrorists in Pakistan, and they would soon be taken care of.”

“There are no two views about that. We are going up against the largest war against terrorism inside the country. There is a certain consensus. We are against terrorism. We would go against remnants,” he said, while replying to a question.

“We consider terrorism and extremism as the number one security threat in Pakistan. There is a consensus on this,” Hussain added.

He, however, appeared to be in denial about the rising international isolation that is now facing Pakistan.

“Right now, Pakistan is not isolated,” he said asserting that countries like China, Russia, Iran, Turkey are with Pakistan, along with the Organisation of Islamic Countries and the Human Rights Council.

While Russia is holding its first-ever joint military exercise with Pakistan, even NATO, he said, has supported the Pakistan’s stand.

The Iranian Navy is anchored in the Karachi port, he noted.

Shazra Mansab, another Special Envoy on Kashmir, said that people of Pakistan are against militancy and terrorism.

“We have this feeling that Pakistan has not been recognised by the US and other countries, for the huge sacrifices it has made. No other country in the world has taken so many steps,” she said. “We are against militancy. But we do not fear isolation,” Mansab added.

The Pakistani leader also suggested three issues for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the India-Pak issues.

“First, resume the back channel. Second, have confidence-building measures (CBMs) in Kashmir, and finally, give a nod to Sharif for the SAARC summit in Pakistan. Let 2017 be the year of decision and year of peace,” he said.