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Pakistan says influence with Afghan Taliban has diminished

07 October 2017

Responding to a statement of India's Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa that his forces are ready for a full spectrum operation, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan wants to live in peace and harmony with its neighbours.

"If a surgical strike takes place then no one should restraint from Pakistan", said Asif. "Since 2014, we have wiped them out", he said adding that even Afghanistan should learn from Pakistan's experience to curb sanctuaries from its land. Asif read from the reported remarks before making his own comments at a Washington think tank event.

Living up to his reputation of being outspoken, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told the U.S. to quit playing to the galleries and blaming his country for its own failures.

"I will not be extravagant, yesterday's meeting went very well, today's meeting with Gen McMaster in the morning, I would be a bit cautious about it". But it was good.

Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan wants to be facilitator in development and prosperity of the region by acting as a natural energy corridor for landlocked but resource rich countries of the region.

"We have offered candid cooperation to Afghanistan during the recent visit of COAS and Foreign Secretary to Kabul where they had successful and productive meetings with President Ashraf Ghani, the CEO Abdullah and others in the Afghan hierarchy", he said.

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The foreign minister said that we also see enormous investment & business opportunities in Pakistan for corporate America, particularly after Pakistan's remarkable successes in war against terror & significant reduction in terrorist incidents in the country. "We are genuinely concerned with regard to the role accorded in the strategy to India in general and its efforts geared to destabilise Balochistan in particular".

Later, senior USA officials told various media outlets that the United States could stop providing economic and military assistance to Pakistan, degrade its status of a major non-Nato ally and place Pakistani officials with alleged ties to terrorists on a terrorist-watch list.

Certainly, India has a role to play as a neighbour, and potentially a very strong economic benefit to Pakistan, if Pakistan can find a way to carry out its global responsibilities and end any kind of safe haven inside their country, he noted.

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.

He said that the country could not owe responsibility for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistan says influence with Afghan Taliban has diminished