Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Pakistan ready for joint patrols of Durand Line: Abbasi

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Lillian Steele | 14 September, 2017, 01:26

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said he hasn't received specific demands from the USA on combating alleged militant sanctuaries at the border with Afghanistan, following Donald Trump's announcement of a new South Asia strategy last month.

Abbasi said his government had yet to receive any specific demands from the Trump administration, adding that Pakistan would act on any information shared by USA authorities.

The US President Donald Trump last month announced the new US strategy as he strongly criticized Pakistan regarding the terror sanctuaries, saying "For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror".

Following Mr Trump's remarks, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cautioned that Pakistan could lose its status as a major American ally and see its U.S. military aid suspended.

"We have not received any list of measures", he said.

Talking about the US Congress blocking the sale of subsidiSed F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Abbasi said that Islamabad will have no choice but to look at other options to maintain its national defensive forces. "We are open (with the US)".

He warned that Washington will not achieve its counter-terrorism aims by "starving" Pakistan of funds, adding that both countries need to make cooperative efforts to win over militancy in the region.

He said Pakistan had suffered massively due to instability in Afghanistan and believed that the solution should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

The prime minister asked the media persons to visit Miran Shah - the administrative headquarters of the war-stricken North Waziristan agency - and see themselves how Pakistan's military had cleared the area by offering great sacrifices in the war against terror. He said Afghanistan in turn needed to do more to fight terrorism against Pakistan. Pakistan is rightly taking friendly countries' leadership into confidence in the wake of Trump statement. "We need to address that issue, but there are other issues need to be discussed, there are other cooperation need to be done", he said.

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