The prime minister of Pakistan this week reportedly declared his country the victor in its war against terrorism.
The U.S.-NATO coalition in Afghanistan maintains that the nation continues to harbor jihadists.
“I am happy to say that we won where rest of the world failed,” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi proclaimed, claiming that Pakistan has relied on its own resources and sacrifices to succeed in the war against terror, reports Pakistan Today.
“Pakistan is a leader in the war against terrorism. Tell me the name of another country which sent 20,000 soldiers to fight terrorists,” the premier also said, adding, “No matter what CNN says, Pakistan was, is, and will always be in the frontline against the war on terror.”
PM Abbasi uttered those remarks while addressing the International Counter-Terrorism Forum in Islamabad on Thursday.
“The people instigating terror in Pakistan are sitting in Afghanistan,” Abbasi said.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have long been accusing one another of supporting terrorism in the region.
Abbasi’s comments follows the suspension of nearly $2 billion-worth of U.S. security aid by American President Donald Trump’s administration over Pakistan’s refusal to combat jihadists like the Taliban and its Haqqani Network.
The United States has provided more than $33 billion in aid to Pakistan since the war in Afghanistan started in October 2001.
U.S. officials have recognized the sacrifices Pakistan has made to combat al-Qaeda in the region.
According to the American military, the Afghanistan-Pakistan region is home to the world’s highest concentration of terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
Although the suspension in U.S. aid has been in effect for months, the Pentagon and the U.S.-NATO coalition in Afghanistan maintain that Pakistan has refused to take action against terrorist groups who plan and carry out attacks against American troops and their allies in Afghanistan.
U.S. Capt. Tom Gresback, a spokesman for the American-led international mission in Afghanistan, told Breitbart News late last month that Pakistan continues to assist the Taliban and other jihadists groups.
“Pakistan has made progress in pursuing terrorists in the [Afghanistan-Pakistan] border region … [but] there are many still living in Pakistan,” he noted.
Nevertheless, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the head of the Pakistan military’s media wing, maintained that “there are no more organized sanctuaries, for elimination” on Pakistani soil.
The general acknowledged that Pakistan is still working on eliminating the “remaining disorganized scanty residual presence of militants.”
Pakistani PM Abbasi urged the international community to recognize Islamabad’s efforts against terror.
“We are firm in our resolve to ensure country’s economic progress,” he said Thursday, noting that “for the first time over 1,800 ulemas [Muslim scholars] of all sects got together and issued a fatwa [edict] on the meaning of jihad and against the concept of suicide bombing.”
Echoing the prime minister during the same event on Thursday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif reportedly indicated that “the whole nation stands united in the fight against terrorism.”
“Terrorists are trying to undermine our sovereignty, and no country can ignore attacks on its territorial integrity,” the minister told the International Counter-Terrorism Forum.
“Our forces have offered unprecedented sacrifices to defend the motherland, and they are ready to offer more sacrifices for the country,” he added.