Vastavam web: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has acknowledged that there is a “trust deficit” between his country and the US over the issue of Afghanistan even as he asserted that the two countries were talking to bridge their differences.Asif’s remarks came after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his whirlwind visit here outlined the US’ new South Asia Strategy and the vital role that Pakistan can play in working with America and others to facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan that can bring stability and security to the region.
The foreign minister also said that the US and international forces had failed to end the conflict in Afghanistan despite their more than a decade long efforts.”They (US) must do some self-accountability also. Why have they lost 45 per cent of the Afghan territory in the last 10, 12 years,” he asked.”We do not get any military hardware from the US. We are not like in the past when we were their proxy,” he said.
Separately, talking to Geo TV, he said that Pakistani leaders told Tillerson that there were no terrorist safe havens in Pakistan.”Terrorist attacks are not planned or executed from Pakistani soil, there are no terrorist safe havens in Pakistan, and we made this clear to the US delegation,” Asif said.Tillerosn paid a short trip to Pakistan yesterday and held a detailed meeting with civil and military leaders in Islamabad.According to a statement by the US embassy, he asked Pakistan to “increase its efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country”.