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Ties with US must be based on mutual respect, says Asif

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Thursday Pakistan doesn’t desire ending ties with United States, instead wants relations based on mutual respect.

Addressing a press conference, which coincided with diplomats’ moot held in Islamabad, he said, “Pakistan is the only country which has won the fight against terrorism. We have purged the country of terrorists. The sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in war on terror were exemplary and unmatched.”

No matter how the world persistently shrugs off Pakistan’s role in eradicating terrorism, but the truth is that Pakistani people are the bravest and peace is prevailing in every nook and cranny of the country, the foreign minister said and added the armed forces have rendered great sacrifices in bringing peace to the country.

He said three-day diplomats’ conference deliberated on relations with India. Kashmir issue is the bone of contention between the two countries, soaring ties with India, he added. The policy for engaging with other neighbouring countries was also discussed at length.

It was suggested during the conference to further improve the relations with friendly countries like China, Turkey and Iran.

Talking about the recent BRICS declaration naming the terrorist outfits based in Pakistan as regional security concern, the foreign minister said Pakistan has already declared them proscribed.

Commenting on the America’s policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, he said it was impossible to cleanse the residue of the failing policies of previous 40 years within days. “We desire relations with the US based on mutual respect. We want brotherly relations with Afghanistan.”

The foreign minister will leave for China today on a one-day visit instead of Friday.

During his stay in Beijing, the Foreign Minister will hold meetings with the State Councillor for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

The two sides will review bilateral relations and regional developments, including the situation in Afghanistan.



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