U.S. not ready to engage Haqqani network: Asif

U.S. not ready to engage Haqqani network: Asif

Asif addressed a session of National Assembly today and in his speech, the minister said that the governments of the past used to seek surity of their power and government from the United States however, it is not like that with the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

During a session of the parliament's upper house, Asif told senators that the the Afghan-based Haqqani network is on the top of the (US) list, which has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against USA interests in Afghanistan but none of the terrorists belong to Pakistan. Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Asif said he visited four countries of regional importance following the announcement of the revised USA policy towards the region.

"We would like a push factor from Pakistan vis-a-vis Taliban, not a Pakistan-managed peace process with the Taliban", Ghani said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Asif has said there was a "huge trust deficit" between Islamabad and Washington over the conflict in Afghanistan. "They are not ready to accept this".

Solution to Afghan crisis is not in coercive methods but talks, Asif said adding that Pakistan did not succumb to U.S. pressure in the past 2 months.

The US top diplomat however conceded that it was "hard to compete with someone who's offering something on financial terms that are worth a few points on the lending side, but we have to help them (countries taking loans from China) put that in perspective of the longer-term ability to control their country, control the future of their country, control the development of their economy in a rules-based system".

"We will not compromise on our sovereignty, our dignity".

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Pakistan to deliver a tough message on the importance of fighting extremists and driving them from hideouts on Pakistani territory.

"We told them that there a number of influential players in the region ─ including China, Turkey and Russian Federation ─ which might not have good relations with America but have a stake in the Afghan dispute".

Last week, Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo said that for the strategy to work, the Taliban must be convinced they have no hope of winning militarily in Afghanistan and that means making it impossible for them to cross the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border and hide inside Pakistan.

"We will cooperate with the U.S. but will not accept being held responsible for anyone's failures", Asif said on Thursday, vowing to take the parliament into confidence regarding foreign policy.

Afghanistan's role as a facilitator for India is not acceptable to Pakistan, said Asif. "The arrest of Kalbhushan Jadhav is one such example of what India has been doing against Pakistan by sitting on the Afghan soil", he added. "But we have a lot more prospects and let's understand, can there be a connection between the Central Asia and Pakistan without Afghanistan?".

"Having said that there is a willingness on both sides to bridge this [trust] deficit".

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