Pakistan not responsible for USA failures in Afghanistan: Pak FM

Pakistan would not budge against United States demands Khawaja Asif

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, briefed the Senate on Wednesday over his meeting with United States delegation a day earlier and said Islamabad will co-operate with America in the "war on terror" but without compromising its own sovereignty, Pakistan's Dawn News reported.

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. "All of the countries favoured Pakistan's stance as they too had their reservations on the policy", the foreign minister said.

After wrapping up his first trip to the region, Tillerson said his goal had been to expand on Trump's new policy and what role is envisioned for each country.

"We will cooperate with the U.S. but will not accept being held responsible for anyone's failures", Asif said on Thursday, vowing to take the parliament into confidence regarding foreign policy.

On Wednesday, Asif briefed the lower house parliament on talks with the US delegation, describing them as "frank" and held in a "cordial" atmosphere without an exchange of allegations.

The minister stated that Pakistan would not budge on the demands of the United States like it had been the practice in the past.

He is the first senior U.S. official to visit Pakistan after President Trump accused the country of providing "safe havens" to the Taliban.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, which broke the story, Tillerson's discussions on the BRI centred around India and the USA "joining hands in providing a rule-based and transparent funding alternative" among countries that had signed up to the Chinese BRI. "There will only be room for improvement if Washington accepts their defeat ... their failures in Afghanistan for over the past 16 years [since the war started]", Asif said, adding, "They are not ready to accept this".

He said that almost 45 per cent of Afghanistan's territory was under Daesh control, adding that terrorists would not need Pakistan for their hideouts as they have ample space available in Afghanistan.

"The role of these countries in solving the dispute is indispensable", Asif added.

"Asif's strongly-worded statement may be a reaction to Tillerson's statements asking Pakistani establishment to step up".

Asif said Pakistan also pointed out that there were some other regional countries whose role was absolutely indispensable in resolving the Afghanistan problem, namely Iran, China, Russia and Turkey.

"They do not need our territory any more".

Earlier on Tuesday, Asif has said there was a "huge trust deficit" between Islamabad and Washington over the conflict in Afghanistan. "Nearly 40% of Afghan territory is now under the direct control of the Taliban".

He also dismissed the possibility of economic sanctions by the U.S.in case it does not tackle the issue of Taliban, saying that Pakistan only received "a trickle" of economic assistance from America. He held talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and top leaders of his unity government at the US -run Bagram military base, about 60 kilometers north of the capital, Kabul.

Pakistan is accused of sheltering and maintaining secret ties to the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

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