Special assistant to P.M. on national security urges media to play its role as ‘Pakistan’s diplomats’
Pakistan’s desire for economic security and regional peace must be properly communicated to transform how it is perceived in the global community, Special Assistant to the P.M. on National Security Moeed Yusuf said on Saturday.
“It is important to change Pakistan’s narrative in the world. Pakistan’s narrative is of economic security and the world has not seen that. This is what I want to work on,” he told a press conference in Lahore. Noting that Delhi had tried to peddle a narrative of “shining India,” he said its own actions had exposed it the farce.
“Our focus is on where we are and my office’s goal is that Pakistan’s new narrative is recognized in the world,” he said. “Our own people say we are a very small market. How can the world’s fifth or sixth biggest country [by population] say that?” he said.
The special assistant also urged the media to play its role as “Pakistan’s diplomats” and help to change the country’s narrative, claiming many foreign outlets set their tone on what was being said by local news. “I request you, you can talk about the state and criticize it, but Pakistan’s narrative should be apparent,” he said.
Yusuf also addressed an interview he gave to Indian media outlet The Wire in which he had alleged that India was sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan, specifically citing the 2014 attack on the Army Public School and the assault on the Pakistan Stock Exchange earlier this year. He said the interview was nothing “special,” but noted that many had praised it for Pakistan “fearlessly” responding to Indian allegations.
“Why would we be fearful? Our basic message is one of peace,” he said, adding that India had been trying to propagate a narrative of some sort of deal between Delhi and Islamabad on Kashmir in the belief that Pakistan would not respond.
“I think I used the words ‘over my dead body’,” he said of his response to the claims during the interview.
On the plight of Kashmiris—many of who continue to live in a virtual open-air prison—Yusuf said India was treating them “worse than animals” and claimed it would soon have to take back its unilateral measures in the occupied territory. “I said this in the show. You will have to take back [Kashmir measures] because of what is happening there,” he said.
The special assistant told media that India had always claimed there could be no dialogue on Kashmir because Pakistan wanted to discuss it first, while Delhi wanted to start by addressing terrorism. “I said [in the interview] we want to talk about this … We don’t have anything to hide,” he said, saying India’s terrorist activities in Pakistan should be discussed at multiple forums. “We are standing for peace,” he said.