Pakistan won't fight America's proxy war in Afghanistan


Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said that he has made it clear to the worldwide community that Pakistan can not be held responsible for the U.S. shortcomings in Afghanistan.

About his recent tours of four countries concerning the revised U.S. policy towards the region, Asif said that the all four friendly countries backed Pakistan's stance towards the US.

The government of PML-N was given the power by some 200 million people of Pakistan.

"We will not compromise on our sovereignty, our dignity", Asif added.

Pakistan would not budge against United States demands like it has been the practice in the past, the minister added.

Yesterday, the U.S. Secretary of State paid an unannounced visit to Baghdad, just hours after returning from a similar surprise visit to Afghanistan.

The minister said that the meeting with Tillerson took place in a very cordial atmosphere and that attitude of Pakistani leadership was not apologetic at all.

Referring to a recent statement by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley where she said that India can help the US in keeping an eye on Pakistan, Asif said that Pakistan "also has a mouth to speak" but will proceed with caution so that relations with America can improve.

The reception for Tillerson was much warmer in India, which is clearly happy about the US plan for the country to play an enhanced role in Afghanistan - where it earlier stepped in to provide air transport of Afghan produce and other goods when Pakistan closed border crossings - and the rest of the region.

He said that Pakistan desires peace in Afghanistan and is making efforts, but a large portion of the restive nation is controlled by the Islamic State.

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At no stage since the policy announcement, have we succumbed to pressure and on Tuesday, for the first time, the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan sat down with the delegation and presented their input.

He said Pakistan had managed to restore peace in its territory to a great extent and the number of drone strikes had decreased as compared to that in previous years.

Earlier, in an interview with BBC, Asif said that there is a "huge trust deficit" between Pakistan and the United States over the Afghan conflict. The US should ask them to play a role in resolving Afghan issue instead of demanding Pakistan of "doing more".

Asif also mentioned that Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed's name was not on the list of 75 militants the USA had handed over to Pakistan. He said that the US Secretary also extended cooperation for reducing tension on the Eastern border so that Pakistan could focus fully on its Western border.

The minister said that normal security given to Tillerson during his visit to Pakistan reflected that Pakistan had restored peace after rendering numerous sacrifices which the USA should acknowledge.

Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan has also exchanged a list of terrorists with U.S. and Afghanistan and they have given us a list of about seventy-five terrorists while we provided them a list of around hundred terrorists.

On its part, the minister said that Pakistan was ready to fence the border and had also asked the U.S. to fence the border from Afghan side that will help in checking cross-border movement of militants.

"What we've received in the region is enormously positive over the South Asian strategy", he said.

Asif said a decrease in the frequency of drone attacks inside Pakistan was a clear manifestation of the fact that Pakistan had cleared its areas from the people who used to become reason for violation of country's airspace and sovereignty.