Durrani Finds Media
Campaign against Pakistan ‘Disturbing’
DC: Ambassador Mahmud Durrani says he finds it “disturbing”
that a media campaign is being run against Pakistan alleging
quite falsely and unfairly that it is not pulling its weight
in the war on terror and, further, that it is backing the
He told a group of Pakistani reporters that the failings
of others should not be dumped on Pakistan’s door.
He said Pakistan has done everything – and then some
more – to bring peace to the region in which it lives.
He said those who criticize Pakistan should ask themselves
how it is in Pakistan’s national interest to back
the Taliban or to connive at the infiltration of fighters
across the border into Afghanistan. He said the problems
in Afghanistan were not Pakistan-manufactured and to treat
Pakistan as a scapegoat for the failures of others was neither
fair nor acceptable.
Durrani said he would not deny that some to and fro movement
of undesirable elements does take place but given the number
of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, it is simply not possible
to have a 100 percent surety that it does not happen.
He said on any given day hundreds of thousands of people
come and go across the border stretching 1,400 miles, as
they have done since time immemorial. Pakistan is doing
its best to ensure that this normal movement of people is
not used as a cover by those bent upon creating mischief.
He said if the United States, the richest and the best equipped
country in the world, is unable to stop illegal movement
of hundreds of thousands of Mexicans into America, how can
Pakistan with its limited resources and the most difficult
terrain in the world be expected to ensure that illegal
or undesirable movement of people is totally prevented.
Durrani also explained in detail the Carlotta Gall incident.
She is the New York Times reporter who was roughed up by
security agents in her hotel room in Quetta. He said although
she had a visa for Pakistan, that visa did not authorize
her to visit prohibited areas. She arrived in Quetta without
permission and then went about snooping in areas where she
was not permitted to go without the permission and information
of authorities. He asked whether he with a US diplomatic
visa was authorized to burst into areas that the US government
had declared out of bounds? He felt that too much was being
made of this issue and regretted that the New York Times,
one of the great newspapers of the world, had taken such
a partisan position. He said he was planning to call on
the editors of the newspaper so that things could be put
in their right perspective.