Dec 232017

KARACHI: A day after the Foreign Office issued a strongly worded statement in response to the US assertion about “putting Pakistan on notice” over alleged terrorist safe havens, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Saturday hit out at the US administration, asking it to learn from Pakistan’s experiences in the war against terrorism instead of threatening it.

In a statement on his official Twitter account, the minister said: “Dont blame or threat[en] us, learn from our experiences in war against terror… if that is our common objective.”

On Friday, US Vice President Mike Pence — during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan — alleged that Pakistan had for too long provided safe havens to terrorists but those days were over, as President Donald Trump had “put Pakistan on notice”.

“Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the United States, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists,” he said while addressing US troops at Bagram airbase.

Referring to Mr Pence’s ‘warning’, Mr Asif said “frustrations on diplomatic front in UN and war in Afghanistan are reflected in statements of US administration”.

Also on Friday, Inter-Services Public Relations chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that the United States’ threats against Pakistan with respect to the latter’s alleged support for militant groups could harm the existing coordination and cooperation between the two countries.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2017

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