New York: Foreign Minister Minister Khawaja Asif has said that Pakistan should not be blamed for Haqqani Network, Hafiz Saeed and other militant outfits, in fact they were ‘blue eyed’ of the United States a few decade ago.
Speaking at Asia Society seminar in New York, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said these people had been invited in the ‘White House.’ He said “Don’t blame us for the Haqqanis and don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeed. These were the people who were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back.”
Asif said, “It is very easy to say Pakistan is floating the Haqqanis and Hafiz Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. They are liabilities. I accept that they are liabilities, but give us time to get rid of them because we don’t have the assets to match these liabilities and you are increasing them further.”
He said that Pakistan is ready to work with the United States for effective management of the Afghan border to stop terrorist infiltration and to facilitate a peace settlement in Afghanistan.
Speaking at the forum, Asif further stressed that there was no military solution to the festering conflict in Afghanistan. “Scapegoating Pakistan for all the Afghan ills is neither fair nor accurate,” Asif added.
“This will only help forces that we are trying to fight collectively,” he remarked.
Asif said Pakistan has a “larger stake” in seeing the return of peace and stability in Afghanistan than any other country, having suffered grievously from the conflict and instability across the border.
“We cannot take responsibility for Afghanistan’s peace and security and be asked to achieve what the combined strength of some of the most powerful and richest countries could not accomplish,” he told the audience.
Asif stressed the need to discuss all issues, including the decades-old Kashmir dispute which is the main source of tension between Pakistan and India.
“Pakistan reached out to India to seek normalisation of relations and resolution of all disputes through dialogue and engagement, but India did not reciprocate,” he added.
Asif said, “The unprovoked violations on the LoC and the working boundary, escalating political rhetoric, excessive use of force against unarmed civilians in occupied Kashmir and harassment of minorities, particularly Muslims in India, do not bode well for peace, reconciliation and dialogue in South Asia.”