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Islamabad won't become US' proxy in Afghanistan: Pak FM

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan's Foreign minister Khawaja Asif today accused the US of trying to use Islamabad as a "proxy" in defending its interests in war-torn Afghanistan.

Maintaining that Pakistan wants constructive ties with America, he said that in the high-level engagements recently, the US officials have been told that Trump's "unwarranted" allegations against the country were against the cooperative history of the US-Pak relationship.

In his new South Asia Policy in August last year, Trump had called for tougher measure against Pakistan if it fails to cooperate with the US in its fight against terrorism.

The US also blocked about USD two billion in security assistance to Pakistan.

Replying to a question in the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, he said, Pakistan would not defend any country's interest but only its own.

Without naming any country, he also said that certain "powers" were responsible for the unrest in the Muslim world from Libya, Iraq, Syria to Afghanistan.

"The United States wants Pakistan to become a proxy and defend its interests in Afghanistan, but we will not defend anyone else's interests...Pakistan will only defend its own interests," he said.

Rejecting the US' allegations that Pakistan was supporting Haqqanis and Taliban, Asif said, "The Taliban are operating in 43 per cent of Afghanistan, and yet they blame us for facilitating the Haqqani Network."

The minister also questioned the rise of Islamic State in the neighbourhood and said "everyone knows who introduced the militant Islamic State group to Afghanistan".

He did not elaborate the forces behind the introduction of the dreaded terrorist group.

Asif also criticised Pakistan's military rulers for joining the US war against the USSR in 1980s in Afghanistan and termed it as "made-in-America jihad".

He was also critical of Pakistan becoming ally in the war on terror.

Asif also told lawmakers that Pakistani troops in Saudi Arabia will not become part of a civil war in Yemen.

He said the troops were there to help maintain "internal security" under an existing bilateral security pact.

"We have not taken part in any across-the-border action by Saudi Arabia," he said.

Pakistan last month decided to deploy troops in Saudi Arabia under an existing bilateral security cooperation agreement with its close ally Saudi Arabia which is involved in a civil war in neighbouring Yemen.

He also said that it was unfortunate that Muslim countries were badly divided and not efforts were being made to unite them.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 20:10 IST