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Foreign Minister urges US to limit Indian influence in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: While there is a trust deficit between Pakistan and the United States, affecting the bilateral ties, the two countries are willing to bridge this trust deficit, said Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday.

Addressing the media here after the fourth round of Track-II dialogue between Pakistan and the US, he conceded there is difference of opinion between the two countries over the Afghan conflict.

He said all stakeholders wanted peace in the region.  Afghanistan faced enormous challenges, including that of rooting out corruption, he said, and added drug trade and other issues had challenged the Afghan government’s writ.

The Minister said Pakistan had rendered remarkable sacrifices in the fight against terror and eliminated terrorist sanctuaries from its territory. It was the top priority of the government to ensure safety and security of the people of Pakistan, he added.

If America passes on information about presence of any militants in Pakistan, the country’s armed forces will act against them, he said.

Asif reiterated that Pakistan had several reservations over the America’s Afghan policy, including India’s growing role in Afghanistan, which should be addressed.

He urged the US to limit Indian influence in Afghanistan and lamented that holding Pakistan responsible for American failures in the war-torn country was uncalled for.

The Minister said there were elements, who wanted the Afghan war to continue for their benefit.



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