Pakistan to retaliate if India conducts surgical strike again : Khawaja Asif

United States says Pakistan is critical to long term stability in region

Khawaja Asif also mentioned President Trump's statement that "Pakistan has much to gain partnering with our effort in Afghanistan", and agreed to it saying that it would be beneficial for Pakistan. He said our armed forces have done extremely well in counter terrorism operations and no other country can match Pakistan's commitment and success.

Pakistan and the United States shared a common desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large, the foreign minister maintained.

"The US is trying to blame Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan", he added. "We are living in hell", the minister retorted, "The sad part is, America went away chest thumping after that", and Pakistan was left to deal with the rest.The minister reiterated that a trust deficit exists between the two countries for a reason.

Substantiating his plea, he said a number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan in recent months have been traced back to these elements operating from these bases in Afghanistan.

According to Inter-Services Relations Pakistan (ISPR), the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who has been spitting venom against Pakistan, in a one-on-one meeting with General Bajwa said that Afghanistan and Pakistan were friendly countries and both shall move together towards enduring peace and stability. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately", Trump said at the time.

"Burden of a 16-year-long war in Afghanistan has now passed to a new Afghanistan", he said, adding "for Pakistan the timeline of managing the fallout of Afghanistan's instability is 30 years and still counting".

"You want us to sniff them out, we will do that".

"In our renewed efforts towards establishing regional peace, we hope that the global media, particularly the U.S. media will play a positive role and reflect Pakistan's changing realities in its reporting", the foreign minister said as he invited media to visit Pakistan to acquire a first-hand experience of a fast changing reality in the country.

In addition to huge human and material cost incurred by Pakistan, Asif said, "Our cultural ethos as a moderate state had suffered due to protracted instability in Afghanistan". He equated his government's struggle in rooting out terrorist groups with the efforts against the gun lobby in the United States.

Earlier, he spoke at length about the pertinent issues between the USA and Pakistan. "At the same time, probably few nations, perhaps none, have lost as many troops fighting terrorists as they have", he said.

"This is about the importance of Pakistan and Pakistan's long-term stability as well". "We want to build a relationship founded on mutual respect", he said.

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