Washington, Dec.15 (ANI): Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, told a community meeting here on Saturday that Pakistan must live in harmony with the rest of the world.
Haqqani claimed that the actions taken by Islamabad after the Mumbai terror attacks have been widely welcomed by all, and admitted some Pakistan-based organisations or individuals may have been involved in those attacks.
He, however, said that what Pakistanis must understand is that if they want to remain a part of the world, then they should not permit anyone to engage in actions that compromise the country's reputation as a responsible member of the world community.
He said there are people in Pakistan who remain in denial of what most of the world believes in.
"If the set of facts we believe in are at variance with what the rest of the world believes in, this can only lead to a confrontational situation at some point," Haqqani warned.
Haqqani emphasised that an impression was beginning to be created in the world that there are individuals and groups in Pakistan who are loose canons and who run around like "wild, unreined horses".
"We should be known as a people who respect international law. We must not allow ourselves to be scapegoated. We should also 'lower our voices' and while we are free to maintain our opinions, our exchanges with others should in all circumstances remain calm and civilised. Any group or any individuals who violate international law only create difficulties for Pakistan," the Daily Times quoted him, as saying.
"If there are 'non-state actors' operating from the soil of Pakistan and committing acts of terrorism abroad, the responsibility for their actions and activities the world will ascribe to us," he added.
The ambassador's address was followed by a lively debate and several interventions.
One community activist said that Pakistanis had failed to convince the world that they are against terrorism. The fact is that the entire country is in the grip of terrorism.
He asked why there have been no public rallies in Pakistan denouncing terrorism. He also suggested that India, Pakistan and Afghanistan should come together to fight the menace of terrorism, which they should view as an enemy common to them all.
He said if non-state actors have become so powerful as to behave with impunity and commit terrorism in and outside Pakistan, then the country and nation are in deep trouble.
If this state of affairs continues, it will place the very existence of Pakistan in danger, he warned.
Another Pakistani-American felt that with a new government in Pakistan and a new administration poised to take over in America, this is an opportune time to make a new beginning.
Another speaker said that Pakistan had acted in good faith after the Mumbai attacks, but certain changes would need to be brought in the nation's thinking and attitude towards objective reality. (ANI)