Pakistan not responsible for U.S. failures in Afghanistan: Pak FM

ANI | Updated: Oct 26, 2017 20:19 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 26 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has told the United States that Islamabad was not responsible for the Washington's policy failures in Afghanistan.

According to the Geo TV, briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Asif said: "During my visit to four nations of regional importance following the announcement of the revised United States policy towards the region, supported Pakistan's stance. [All these] countries also had reservations about the new US policy. We also consulted Saudi Arabia on the new US policy. [All these friendly] countries advised us to hold talks with US."

The foreign minister also said, "The US [Secretary of State] was stopped from touring Pakistan. The parliamentary resolutions also sent a strong message to the US."

Asif was briefing the Committee on Defence on his recent talks in the U.S. and his interactions with U.S. think-tanks on relations between the two countries.

"The things which due to diplomatic norms couldn't be said were discussed during these talks after which the US changed its stance," Asif said.

The Foreign Minister further said that Pakistan would not get involved in a proxy war but would continue to play its role for peace and security in Afghanistan.

Earlier on Tuesday, Asif has said there was a "huge trust deficit" between Islamabad and Washington over the conflict in Afghanistan.

"Yes, there is a trust deficit, but we are talking," Asif said, adding that there was a willingness on both sides to bridge this deficit.

Asif told a leading media outlet that that there were no "safe havens" in Pakistan, after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson made his inaugural visit to Pakistan after Trump accused the country of providing "safe havens" to the terrorists.

Tillerson reiterated United States President Donald Trump's message that Islamabad must increase its efforts to eradicate the militants and terrorists operating within the country.

Addressing the accusation by the U.S. and Afghanistan that Pakistan provides sanctuary to terrorists who plan attacks on Kabul, Asif blamed the 'ineptitude' of America and international forces there for not ending the conflict.

"They do not need our territory anymore. Almost 40 per cent of Afghan territory is now under the direct control of the Taliban," the Foreign Minister added.

According to the report, U.S. military sources suggest the Taliban control about 10 per cent of Afghanistan and contest some 30 per cent of the count.

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.

"We do not get any military hardware from them [the U.S.]. We are not like in the past when we were their proxy," Asif said. (ANI)