Says Trump is mistaking CSF for aid
Says Pakistan will not compromise on national interests under any circumstance
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday said Pakistan needs to survive on its own so that the country is not humiliated on international platforms, while referring to US President Donald Trump’s tweet in which he had said said the United States had “foolishly” given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid and “they have given us nothing but lies and deceit”, while accusing Pakistan of providing “safe havens” to terrorists.
Talking to media persons outside Parliament House, the foreign minister said that the recent visit of a senior US State Department official shows that Washington wants to improve its bilateral relations with Islamabad.
“Pakistan doesn’t desire to deteriorate its relations with the United States but it would neither want to compromise its national sovereignty. Pakistan’s sacrifices should be recognised,” the minister said, adding, “We are giving our land and air routes without any charge.”
Asif said that Donald Trump is mistaking the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for aid. “Out of $23 billion we have received only $14 billion,” Asif added.
Responding to a question, Asif said that the nexus between Israel and India is decades long.
Speaking in the meeting of Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Wednesday, Khawaja Asif emphatically stated that Pakistan will never make any compromise on its national interests.
He said, “Pakistan desires balance in its relations with the United States. We have made it clear on the civil and military leadership of the US that Pakistan does not require any aid. But the US should not blame Pakistan for its own failures.”
Khawaja Asif told the meeting that continuous jibes at Pakistan are all accusation to put the responsibility of US’ failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan. “We have to stand up to those who accuse us of harbouring terrorists,” he remarked.
The Committee chairperson, along with the members, praised the hard and strong stance taken by the minister in response to President Trump’s statements against Pakistan.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed urged the Foreign Office (FO) to be more proactive in putting forth Pakistan’s narrative in the war against terrorism.
The Committee complimented the prompt and impartial procedure developed and carried out by both the FO and Cabinet Division.
Regarding a fatwa issued against terrorism, the minister made it clear that the state is not bringing jihadi outfits into the mainstream.
China has expressed its desire to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan.
Asif said that over 60,00 to 70,000 Afghan refugees travel from Afghanistan to Pakistan, and Islamabad has given refuge to the Afghan people but it’s not possible anymore. “We want better border management and return of Afghan refugees now,” he added.
He also said that the Afghan Taliban coming to Pakistan is not under their notice. He said Pakistan also supports the Chinese plan.
Meanwhile, in an interview with a private media outlet, Khawaja Asif said India and Israel have anti-Islam nexus, which is evident from their occupation of Muslim territories.
He said India has occupied the territory of Kashmir, while Israel is occupying a vast area of Palestine.
The foreign minister said Pakistan never accepted Israel. India has been involved in the killing of a large number of Muslims in Gujrat, he mentioned.
Commenting on Pakistan’s sacrifices on the war against terror, he said, “Pakistan’s valiant armed forces have been fighting the war on terrorism with full force and they have achieved many successes in it.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, on Tuesday, he was discussing with India ways to strengthen security cooperation against the menace of from extremism that both democracies face.
Netanyahu spoke while on a six-day tour of India, the first by an Israeli premier for 15 years, and is being feted by Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, whose Hindu nationalist party has long admired Israel for its tough posture against terrorism.
India, wary of upsetting Arab nations on which it was dependent for oil, and heeding the sentiments of its own large Muslim minority, kept a distance from Israel for decades. But under Modi, the two sides have embraced a closer relationship based on security and economics.
The right-wing Netanyahu told a security conference that India and Israel were two democracies with a natural affinity, but their open and liberal societies faced risks.
“Our way of life is being challenged, most notably, the quest for modernity, the quest for innovation (are) being challenged by terrorist offshoots from a variety of corners,” he said.
Both Israel and India have long sought to counter militants – in Israel’s case, mainly from Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai region and, in India’s case, mainly from Pakistan. Away from the public eye, India and Israel have been cooperating against the threat through, in part, intelligence sharing, officials say.
“We’ve discussed in this visit how we can strengthen our two nations in the civilian areas, in security areas, in every area,” Netanyahu told the conference.
His trip to India comes just six months after Modi made the first trip by an Indian prime minister to Israel, during which he did not go to Ramallah, the seat of the self-ruling Palestinian Authority and a customary stop for leaders visiting the region.