No compromise on national sovereignty and dignity: Khawaja Asif

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 25 (APP):Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Wednesday assured the Senate that Pakistan would never compromise on national sovereignty and dignity and future relations with United States would be reciprocated on self-respect and equality basis.

Giving a policy statement after the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Islamabad and meetings with Pakistani leadership, the minister said Pakistan has categorically conveyed to US government that we neither need military aid nor economic assistance.
” Let me assure you that the government, all state institutions including parliament, executives and armed forces will protect Pakistan’s interest till last breath and will never compromise on our interests as made by dictators in the past,” he asserted.
Khawaja Asif said we have also conveyed our message to the visiting US Secretary of State in clear words that Pakistan would neither made any compromises nor surrender on all national interests and the government was only accountable to the Parliament. Pakistan would not bow down to any US pressure, he added.
He said the power has been given to us by 20 million people of Pakistan and not by the US. In past some people took decision against national interest to extend their illegitimate rules, he said.
The minister said meeting with the US Secretary was held in cordial atmosphere and there had been no allegations. Both the sides discussed different ways for cooperation for the elimination of terrorism from the region, he said.
He said during the meeting, we have clarified the visiting dignitaries that Pakistan would not get involved in any kind of proxy war but would continue to play its role for peace and security in the region.
Asif said, ” We want to expand relations with United States on the basis of equality and self-respect. We have also conveyed to the US Secretary of State that our cooperation can be enhanced while sharing actionable intelligence.”
He said the US dignitaries were told that due to actionable intelligence sharing, their hostages were recovered from Taliban.
Foreign Minister categorically said that we clarified that a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan was in the best interest of the Pakistan. Durable peace in Pakistan was linked with peace in Afghanistan.
He said military solution to Afghan issue has been failed and it could be resolved politically through dialogue and Pakistan would also play its due role in this regard.
He said earlier, Pakistan had influenced over Taliban but now they (Taliban) were being sponsored by some others. They (US delegation) were also apprised that there had been other influential countries including China, Iran, Russia and Turkey which could play their role in the region in this regard, the minister said.
The minister said they have been informed that Talibans were being playing the role of facilitators to some countries and the arrest of Indian spy Kalbushan Yadev was a clear example. There were not a single Afghan post along 648 Km border and terrorists were carrying out terrorist activities from there, he added.
Asif said 45 per cent area of Afghanistan was not under the control of Kabul government and Taliban and Daish were operating from there.
He said CENATCOM and ISAF forces could not get success. However, Pakistan remained successful in war against terrorism with matchless sacrifices rendered by civilian and personnel of all law and enforcing agencies.
He said we were still in war and it would continue till complete elimination of terrorists.
The minister US Secretary was apprised that Pakistan was fencing border with Afghanistan. The US Authorities was also asked to invest for fencing on the Afghan side to permanently stop the movement of Taliban and terrorists across the border.
He said we have also proposed to the US government for repatriation of Afghan refugees to their country as due to their presence in Pakistan their movement couldn’t be stopped.
Asif said after the repatriation of Afghans and fencing on the Pak-Afghan border, there would be a complete control over the movement of terrorist across the border.
He said that Pakistan has unmatched experience in the war against terror and we have made our country safe and secure after great sacrifices by our security forces and people of the country.
The minister said this was trust of the US government on Pakistan’s security situation that the US Secretary was given a normal security that was required. In Afghanistan, he said that delegation did not come out of the Bagram Airbase and held meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani there.
He said that the US Secretary also extended cooperation for reducing tension on the Eastern border so that Pakistan could focus fully on its Western border.
Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan has also exchanged a list of terrorists with US and Afghanistan and they have given us a list of about seventy-five terrorists while we provided them a list of around hundred terrorists.
About the Trump’s new policy for South Asia announced in August, the minister said that we conveyed that a policy has been prepared by those Generals who have failed to maintain peace and achieve success in Afghanistan during last 16 years.
He said we proposed that the policy should be formulated by the politicians. Regarding condition placed by the US Secretary, he said basically they (US) stressed on Haqqani network and eliminating its network and safe sanctuaries, he said.
He said Pakistan had not received any pressing demand from the visiting US Secretary. US had accepted some Taliban as a political entity, he said and added that US was not ready to engage Haqqani network till they give up violence.