Pakistan looks to reset relationship with US: Dar

1508

NEW YORK, April 26 (APP): Pakistan wants the Trump
administration to help resolve its decades-old conflict with
India over Kashmir and offered to help the US stabilize the
region as Washington ramps up its fight in Afghanistan,
Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published
on Wednesday, he emphasized that Pakistan seeks a reset of
its relationship with the United States.
“There seems to be a little bit of a stalemate in the
last couple of years,” Dar said.
Dar, who spoke to the newspaper ahead of his meeting
with National Security Adviser Lt Gen HR McMaster, said,
“We need to remove any ambiguities that we have between
each other as friends.”
WSJ’s correspondent Ian Talley, who interviewed the
minister, noting that US relationship with Pakistan was
“complicated”, wrote that Washington still sees the South
Asian country as critical to its efforts in Afghanistan as
the Trump administration intensifies its attacks on Islamic
State/Da’esh and the Taliban.
In a signal of a shift in US policy in the region under
President Donald Trump, the military earlier this month dropped
one of its largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State/Da’esh
complex in eastern Afghanistan.
The Trump administration is reviewing its policy toward
Pakistan, the report said citing an unnamed White House
official.
In the interview, Dar questioned the effectiveness of
the U.S. strategy, however.
“Let’s face it, there hasn’t been great success of the
operations in Afghanistan in the last decade-plus since 9/11,”
he said. “You can’t find each one of the Taliban and kill
them and then restart, it will take too long, maybe ages.”
Instead, Pakistan believes an “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led”
political solution” is probably the ultimate solution,” the
finance minister said. “Obviously we have to listen to the
new side, the new administration, to see what are their
thoughts,” he said.
He added: “I’m sure the new administration will be looking
into this. I think we need to sit together and see where are the
flaws.”
Dar said his government had escalated military operations
intended to clear out terror networks and fighters in the tribal
areas, suffering a series of deadly terror attacks across the
country. Besides expanding those operations, the government is
bolstering its border security, including a fencing at critical
crossing points, he said.
“We are very keen to contribute whichever way we can to
support this peace effort,” he said, referring to the U.S.
engagement in Afghanistan.
Dar said Kashmir is a key request for Pakistan.”We expect
the US as a common friend to facilitate, encourage the issue is
resolved amicably, in accordance with UN Resolutions ASAP (As
soon as possible),” Dar added.