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My statement was misquoted, Aziz tells Atmar

My statement was misquoted, Aziz tells Atmar

Nov 20, 2014 - 19:02

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): National Security Advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz on Thursday telephoned his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar and said he had been misquoted in a recent controversial interview with BBC Urdu.

Aziz had told BBC Urdu that Pakistaninfo-icon was not going to target militant groups posing no threat to the Pakistani state and that the Afghan Talibaninfo-icon were not their problem.

The statement drew harsh criticism at home from political rivals and Afghan lawmakers and on social media.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) has already said that the statement was reported out of context.

“The advisor made the statement in a historical context,” FO spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in a statement on Tuesday.

During the telephonic conversation, Aziz told Atmar that his remarks during the November 17 interview were misquoted, as he claimed that he was talking in a ‘historical context’.

The advisor reiterated on the occasion that Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism was clear and unambiguous and that Operation Zarb-i-Azb, as he stated in the interview also, was targeting all terrorists, without any distinction or discrimination.

Aziz also recalled the understanding reached between President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week that neither side would allow its territory to be used against the other.

The top Pakistani diplomat reaffirmed the country’s resolve to work closely with Afghanistaninfo-icon to address the common challenges and continue to make progress towards a comprehensive and enduring partnership, as envisioned by the leaders of the two countries.

Atmar told Aziz during the conversation that his clarification was encouraging and that Afghanistan was committed to its pledges with Pakistan, a statement from the Presidential Palace quoted him as saying.

As a new chapter in bilateral relations has been opened, Atmar said they hoped joint efforts would help bring peace and stability to the region and steer the two nations out of war, instability and challenges.


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