Pakistan has defeated terrorism, PM Khaqan tells int'l media

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said it would be counter-productive for the United States to sanction Pakistani officials or further cut military assistance, warning it would hurt both countries' fight against militancy.

People of Pakistan too have become tired of an unending tendency on part of the United States to twist Pakistan arms or make it scapegoat whenever it faces prospects of any failure in the region.

Abbasi says Pakistan is willing to take a number of steps over the matter, so long as the U.S. also takes reciprocal steps in Afghanistan, meant to limit cross-border attacks on both sides.

His remarks came weeks after US President Donald Trump criticised Pakistan for providing safe havens to militants. Pakistan has denied those allegations, and says militants have launched attacks against it from the Afghan side of the border.

Abbasi said Pakistan was committed to peaceful resolution of the Afghan issue.

Previously, Pakistan and Afghanistan had agreed on coordinated, complementary operations on their respective sides of border.

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He claimed the militants were actually based in Afghanistan and carry out cross border attacks in Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif met with Turkish leadership in Ankara on Tuesday as part of his tour to regional powers in the aftermath of the United States' new policy announcement on Afghanistan and South Asia.

He added that, however, Pakistan has not yet received any list of measures from the USA side to fight against the alleged terrorist sanctuaries.

"We respect other's sovereignty and expect the same from them", he said.

He also said Pakistan's 70-year relationship with the United States should not be defined by Afghanistan alone. The implication seemed to be that the U.S. was demanding Pakistan take certain actions to placate them. "Pakistan is a large market and the US companies are getting opportunities of billions of dollars here", said Abbasi.

USA officials and independent analysts have long accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to militants battling US forces in Afghanistan, even as it cracks down on other militant groups that target its own citizens.

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