WASHINGTON: The world must recognise Pakistan’s critical anti-terrorism role and understand the complex war it is waging against militants, says Islamabad’s envoy to the United States Husain Haqqani.
Speaking at the international launch of a Pakistani TV drama, portraying the country’s ongoing anti-militant struggle at the cost of enormous human suffering, the ambassador said Pakistan has rendered more sacrifices than any other nation in the fight against terrorism.
‘Pakistan has lost more lives to terrorism in the last two years than any other country, more Pakistani soldiers have died in the battle against terrorism,’ Haqqani told Pakistani and American media representatives at the embassy, where director, playwright and cast introduced the play ‘Khuda Zameen Se Gaya Nahin’.
‘Still there are people around the world who do not recognise Pakistan’s sacrifices and nor do they understand the complexity of this difficult war,’ the envoy added.
Based on real happenings and written by Asghar Nadeem Syed, the drama serial depicts resilience and aspirations of the Pakistanis to move forward as a moderate people. The play, produced by Communication Research Strategies, will be beamed internationally in 16 episodes by PTV Globe.
The characters and situations in the production highlight psychological, emotional and social tensions in their struggle to defend their way of life. The play has been shot at 50 different locations and also shows lifelike scenes of Pakistani military actions against militants, produced with the help of Inter-Services Public Relations.
In his remarks, Haqqani pointed out that the world owes it to the Pakistanis and Afghanis to help them tide over troubles that arose out of the West-supported Jihad against the Soviet Union in the 1980s, when one extreme ideology was pitched against another.
‘When the Soviet Union pulled out of Afghanistan, the United States left Pakistan and Afghanistan — the mujahideen (brought together from around the world) did not, and have morphed into the Taliban.’
The United States and Pakistan, he stated, are allies. ‘We do not always agree with one another but the fact remains that our goals in the region are similar.’
‘Pakistan wants a stable Afghanistan and Pakistan wants to eliminate terrorism from the region. Pakistanis want to move forward as a progressive and democratic nation.’
Islamabad, he said, wants to resolve issues with its neighbours but argued that Pakistan would not be told by others whether its security concerns emanate from the eastern border or from terrorism on the western border. ‘We will define our security concerns ourselves.’
He said Pakistani soldiers, intelligence personnel, politicians and people are jointly fighting the menace of terrorism, which must be addressed with a multidimensional approach having economic, social and political components.
The ambassador said the US and Pakistan should continue a process of overcoming trust deficit of the last three decades that began with Secretary of State Hillary Clintons three-day visit to Pakistan last month.
He lauded the role of Pakistani artists, musicians, poets, writers and particularly the entire team of the production for reflecting in their work the nation’s struggle against extremism.
Writer Asghar Nadeem Syed, Director Kashif Nisar, artistes Ayesha Khan and Noman Ejaz introduced some aspects and theme of the play to the audience comprising American South Asian affairs experts and journalists.