Pakistan crucial for peace in Afghanistan: Qadri

LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri has said that peace cannot be restored to Afghanistan without Pakistan’s help.

Speaking at a press conference at the PAT office, Qadri lashed out at the US president’s decision to put Pakistan on its religious watch list.

He said that Pakistan lost 75,000 lives in the war on terror, besides spending $130 billion to eliminate terrorism, but the United States still did not acknowledge Pakistan’s efforts.

“The US decision is against our sovereignty, and has created a lot of uncertainty in the Pakistan-US relations,” he said, but added that the nation was united to safeguard its sovereignty and render any sacrifice for the country.

‘Pakistan’s role inevitable for peace in Afghanistan’

“Our armed forces have done wonders for eliminating terrorism from Pakistan,” said Qadri, adding that despite differences, political parties stood united.

“Pakistan’s armed forces used 75 per cent of their resources to eliminate terrorism and now they [the US] are complaining that Pakistan did not help them eliminate this menace in Afghanistan,” he maintained, adding that the US was utilising all its resources in Afghanistan without securing peace.

“I am telling you, terrorism is an international phenomenon and the US cannot achieve peace [in Afghanistan] without Pakistan’s help,” he said.

The PAT chief insisted that the US decision could weaken global efforts against war on terror, and Washington should reconsider its decision.

Pakistan, Iran urge ‘credible’ Afghan peace process

“Weakening Pakistan at this juncture is risky and could lead to a slowdown in the war on terror,” he warned.

He pointed out that while the US witnessed just one 9/11, hundreds of such incidents occurred in Pakistan in which 75,000 lives were lost.

Qadri said that putting Pakistan on the religious watch list “is not a good decision” by the US.

“Religious harmony still prevails in Pakistan and minorities are enjoying full religious freedom,” he said. “Hindus and Christians were even elevated to become judges of the Supreme Court. They have also been appointed as senior army officers. So it is baseless that minorities in Pakistan are facing tough times,” he maintained.

The PAT chief continued, “I have just one question: How can India be allowed to act as a policeman in Afghanistan? It has no cultural or religious commonalities with Afghanistan. Pakistan, on the other hand, has close religious and cultural ties with Afghanistan and has rendered innumerable sacrifices to bring prosperity in Afghanistan.”

He warned that terrorism would not be eliminated if the US went ahead with its policy to give space to India in Afghanistan.

Pakistan desired to hold meetings with Afghan officials but they were reluctant to consider the offer

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