Pakistanis ‘living in hell’ since joining US fight against Soviet Union: Asif

  • Foreign Minister says 'We will continue to work for peace and stability'
  • Says India will meet befitting response on any misadventure against Pakistan
  • He warns 'hallow allegations' levelled by the US are not acceptable
Pakistan

WASHINGTON – Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has lamented the Pakistan’s decision made in 80s regarding entering into the US war against the Soviet Union.

The foreign minister while speaking at the United States Institute of Peace said, “we are living in hell” due to becoming a member of this war, adding that no one think about Pakistan after winning the fight.

Since then Pakistan is facing “every kind of friction, religious, ethnic and political intolerance,” he said, adding, “This is the baggage we carry from the 80s”.

Despite joining its wars, Pakistan senses an air of mistrust in relations with the US, the minister said.

“Yes, there is a trust deficit,” he remarked.

Highlighting country’s achievement, Asif said: “Pakistan is the only victor in the war against terrorism,” adding, “our achievements are better than any other country’s.”

He reiterated that Pakistan did not seek any material help from the US, “all we want is respect.”

He stressed “Ensuring security in Afghanistan is critical for the region,” adding “we will be the biggest beneficiary of peace in Afghanistan.”

“Burden of a 16-year-long war in Afghanistan has now passed to a new Afghanistan,” he said, adding “for Pakistan the timeline of managing the fallout of Afghanistan’s instability is 30 years and still counting. This is more than half of our life as an independent country.”

He said that Pakistan desired “productive relations” with Afghanistan in order to curb safe havens of terrorists in neighbouring country and strengthen border management.

He called on the US to actively work with Pakistan towards peace in South Asia.

Speaking on the event, he said: “Four years ago, Pakistan had one the highest incidences of terrorism anywhere in the world. Pakistan responded to this tide of terrorism by building a strategic national consensus on a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy.”

He added, “our troops have bravely soldiered in terrain that has deceived visitors for centuries. What is often forgotten is that Pakistan has been conducting a series of major counter-terrorism operations for over a decade and has progressively secured all territory on its side of the border.”

“From thousands of nameless Pakistanis to kids like the 17 years old Malala Yousufzai, the Nobel laureate and 15 years old Aitzaz Hassan, the school boy who died while protecting his class fellows – to the 22 years old Lt Arsalan Alam who was martyred last month by terrorists attacking from Afghanistan – we have a long list of heroes in every town,” the foreign minister said.

He said, “We will continue to work for peace and stability.”

Talking about Kashmiris, he said: “The plight of Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir cannot be ignored by the international community. As the time has passed the brutality of Indian security forces has increased and the civility of Indian occupation has diminished”.

Responding to Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa’s comments regarding hitting nuclear installations of Pakistan, he said:  “If that happens, nobody should expect restraint form us. That’s the most diplomatic language I can use”.

Talking to reporters, he termed Donald Trump’s comments regarding supporting terrorism as “hallow allegations”.

“You want us to sniff them out, we will do that. You want us to take action against them, whatever action you propose, we will do that… (but) these hollow allegations are not acceptable,” Geo News quoted minister.

“We are not saying we are saints. Perhaps in the past, we made some mistakes. But since the last three, four years, we are wholeheartedly, single-mindedly, we are targeting these terrorists,” Asif said.