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Foreign secy airs concern over US vice president’s statement on Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Secretary Foreign Affairs Tehmina Janjua on Friday expressed concern over the remarks of US Vice President Mike Pence about Pakistan during his surprise visit to Afghanistan.

She briefed the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs today in Islamabad on the recent developments in the wake of the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Islamabad’s stance on the issue and the visit of the US Defence Secretary to Pakistan.

On Thursday, US Vice President Mike Pence repeated Trump’s allegations against Pakistan, saying it has much to lose by harbouring “criminals and terrorists.” 

“Those days are over,” Pence said. Pakistan had much to gain from partnering with the United States, and much to lose by harboring “criminals and terrorists,” he said at Bagram.

Ms Janjua expressed concern over the recent statements of Pence and Pentagon, saying Pakistan had eradicated terror safe havens from its territory.

She outright rejected the allegations levelled against Pakistan, saying the country was a target of state-sponsored terrorism funded and abetted by its enemies. Efforts were afoot to damage the image of Pakistan, she added.

She said America should also pay heed to Islamabad’s concerns and treat Pakistan and neighbouring India equally.

Pakistan wanted talks with India to resolve all issues amicably, the foreign secretary said, and added India was perpetuating violence against Kashmiris in the Occupied Kashmir.

Briefing the committee on US Secretary of Defence James Mattis’s visit to Pakistan, she said the matters pertaining to regional security situation and bilateral ties between the two countries came under discussion.

Islamabad conveyed its concern over the use of Afghan soil to launch offensives in Pakistan and terrorists’ safe havens in the neighboring country and the US side assured to look into the issues, she said.

The foreign secretary told the committee that Pakistan adopted a clear position at the United Nations on Palestinian issue especially the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

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