We want peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan tells US

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan told the US on Tuesday that it desires “peace and stability in Afghanistan”.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif made the comments when US Ambassador David Hale called on him after President Donald Trump warned Islamabad to stop backing terrorists fighting American forces in Afghanistan.

Asif “underlined Pakistan’s continued desire to work with the international community to eliminate the menace of terrorism”, a Foreign Ministry statement said. 

Ambassador Hale said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was looking forward to meeting Pakistani Foreign Minister soon for an in-depth discussion on the bilateral relationship as well as the new US policy on South Asia, the statement said. 

In an address on Monday, Trump put long-time ally Pakistan on notice with a virtual ultimatum that it “has much to lose” by backing terrorists. He accused Islamabad of sheltering “the same organisations that try every single day to kill our people”.

Pakistan Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan told Radio Pakistan that the “success of military operations” were proof of Islamabad’s strog and coherent strategy against terrorism.

The Pakistan Army dismissed Trump’s remarks, saying Islamabad had taken action against armed groups on its soil.

“There are no terrorist hideouts in Pakistan,” spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

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