ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan are working on a joint code of conduct to regulate their cooperation in the fight against terrorists and redress each other’s grievances, says the country’s top diplomat.
Special adviser to the PM on foreign affairs, Tariq Fatemi, also said that Pakistan expected the United States to reimburse the expenses it incurred in the fight against terrorists even after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Fatemi said that Pakistan would welcome a meeting between the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised the PM to attend the UN General Assembly session.
This will cover all relevant issues, “such as the complaints made by two sides, border management, enhanced cooperation between the two militaries and their security and intelligence agencies,” Fatemi said.
He said Pakistan would like the United States to continue to reimburse the expenses incurred in countering terrorists along the Pak-Afghan border.
So far, the United States has been reimbursing Pakistan from the Coalition Support Fund set up for this purpose. The fund may expire after the expected US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Now if the objectives (of the US-led war against terror) remain unaccomplished for another year or two and if Pakistan continues providing that service, we will expect reimbursement of those expenses,” said Fatemi.
He denied a US media report that Pakistan had asked the United States to re-evaluate its withdrawal plan, because the objectives of the war against terror had not yet been achieved.
The US troops were deployed in Afghanistan under an arrangement with the two countries and “it is not for us to comment on how long they should or should not stay”, he said.
“The government of Pakistan has not stated either privately or publicly any preference as regards the stationing of US troops,” he added.
The US media, however, quoted a senior Pakistani defence official as telling reporters that Islamabad had asked Washington to re-evaluate its withdrawal schedule.
Fatemi refused to speculate if a longer US stay in Afghanistan would facilitate Pakistan’s military offensive or it would have been better to launch the operation in 2010 when the Americans still had a few years in Afghanistan.
The adviser said the offensive would continue till the main objective of eliminating terrorism was achieved.
“No discrimination or distinction will be made as regards to the nationality, ethnicity and political affiliation of the militants. All militants are targets and this operation will continue as long as the objective is not achieved.”