Hafiz Saeed, Haqqanis are liabilities for Pakistan: Khawaja Asif


NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday has said that Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Haqqani network are a liabilities for Pakistan.

The foreign minister was speaking at a session hosted by Asia Society in New York.

"It is very easy to say that Pakistan is supporting 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 these liabilities. You are increasing our liabilities further," said Asif.

"Don't blame us for Haqqanis, don't blame us for Hafiz Saeeds. These were the people who were your darlings....20 or 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House," added the foreign minister.

"You cannot divorce history from the present or the future."

'We have to do more'

On a question regarding Hafiz Saeed, Asif said that he was already under detention.

"You have mentioned a name. It's a proscribed organisation. The gentleman is under house arrest. But I agree with you that on that score, on that account, we have to do more," he said.

"There are people in Pakistan who can be a liability in times of crisis for Pakistan and for the region."

The Pakistani government has placed Hafiz Saeed under house arrest, which was extended by two months in August. He was also placed on the Exit Control List along with 37 others in February, all of whom were said to be affiliated with the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) or Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

According to the interior ministry, JuD, LeT, and the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) are "on the Watch List as per UNSC 1267 Sanctions", and in "the Second Schedule of the ATA 1997 (as amended)".

'India cannot wish away Kashmir'

Earlier in his speech prior to the session, Foreign Minister Khaja Asif said that Pakistan cannot be blamed for issues plaguing Afghanistan. 

He added that India cannot term the genuine struggle of Kashmiris as terrorism.

"India cannot wish away Kashmir, nor can it delegitimise the genuine, indigenous, unarmed struggle of Kashmiris fighting for their right of self-determination by terming it as terrorism."