Pakistan's Imran Khan talks US relations as elections loom

Pauline Gross
January 14, 2018

Several U.S. officials have held talks with senior Pakistani civilian and military leaders to find what one called "common ground" after President Donald Trump rebuked Pakistan in a series of tweets and then said the U.S. would no longer provide aid to Islamabad.

Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said the return of the refugees is prerequisite in a bid to help the Pakistani forces deny safe havens to the Afghan militants.

Should he become Pakistan's prime minister, Khan said "yes we would talk", referring to Trump, but added that the USA dishonors the memory of thousands of Pakistan's soldiers who died battling insurgents in its tribal regions, as well as that of tens of thousands of Pakistanis who died in terrorist attacks. "Whether we would be able to communicate, I am not so sure, but of course we, countries, have to work with the United States".

In their zest to please Indians, Americans are trying to belittle and humiliate the contribution made by Pakistan on counter-terrorism front but they can never forget that whatever successes they have achieved in Afghanistan are due to honest cooperation by Pakistan and they would be caught in a deeper mess there if left by Islamabad.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Pakistan has assisted the USA in its fight in the war on terrorism, providing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with supply routes into landlocked Afghanistan after the United States invasion, Bloomberg reports.

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Bajwa responded that Pakistan is fully aware of concerns laid out by the United States in relation to the terrorist activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, and his country is already engaged in several operations against those militants, AP reports.

In the weeks since the Trump administration withheld almost $1 billion in security aid for Pakistan, Washington and Islamabad officials have been working to patch things up and avert a risky deterioration in their often troubled relationship.

Khan said Pakistan had nothing to do with the violence.

"The US would like Pakistan to come to the table and assist us in this effort". While he praises liberals outside Pakistan as anti-war and committed to humanitarian values and freedom of speech, he rails against Pakistani liberals, chastising them for supporting the military operations in the tribal regions.

Pakistan's politics have been in turmoil since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was dismissed from power previous year on corruption charges and a party faithful, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was sworn in as prime minister until new elections are held.

Other reports by GizPress

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