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Khawaja Asif warns India against targeting Pakistan's nuclear installations


"It was good. It wasn't bad", Asif said. "Our western border also meets Iran".

Asif has met with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who described Pakistan as a partner of the USA and critical to the long-term stability of the region.

Speaking at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, the foreign minister said if US had concerns about the future of Afghanistan, then Pakistan too seeks recognition of its legitimate security concerns in the region.

At the State Department briefing, a journalist pointed out that when the new US strategy was unveiled, the language about US-Pakistani ties was much harsher than what Secretary Tillerson used in his remarks after the meeting.

Nevertheless it is my presumption that while having a candid exchange of views, both sides would reiterate the need for continued engagement between the two countries.

Asif also said that Pakistan's "relationship with India is at the lowest ebb at the moment". Asif told Tillerson that Pakistan is winning its war against terrorism. "We believe that a political approach characterized by an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process will yield durable peace in the interest of Afghanistan and the broader region".

It all sounds nice and encouraging.

A common pattern that is emerging in global forums is that when Pakistan is accused of providing safe havens to terrorists, the nation shifts the focus to alleged human rights violations in Kashmir carried out by India.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional hearing this week that it's clear to him that Pakistan's intelligence service has connections to the militant groups.

Asif said that the Pak-US bilateral relationship had taken a new turn after the announcement of Washington's South Asia strategy.

Most of the TTP commanders and operative escaped into Afghanistan after the execution of operation Zarb-e-Azb and the follow up operations in Khyber agency and set up their training camps there from where they have been and are still planning and executing terrorist attacks within Pakistan.

"They talked about the importance of partnering together to establish peace and prosperity in the region".

That surely will test the diplomatic skills of our diplomatic Corps and the will and commitment of our security forces.

Pakistan is extremely concerned about safe havens of terrorists who are mostly operating from ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan which are more than 40% of the total area of the country, he added.

The minister urged the United States to take note of the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian security forces in held Kashmir.

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