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Wednesday Jan 03 2018

US cannot dictate Pakistan anymore by withholding aid: Defence Minister


ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir has said it is not possible anymore for the US to dictate terms to Pakistan by withholding aid. 

Dastagir made the comments in an interview to BBC Urdu. 

He also said that the action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is part of Operation Raddul Fasaad and has nothing to do with the US.

He added that the action against JuD is being taken after much consideration "to secure our future so terrorists can no longer kill our children in schools". 

With regards to bilateral relations, he said the cooperation between the US and Pakistan has almost ceased.

"Today's Pakistan is a country post-Operation Zarb-e-Azb — which has been created from the sacrifices of citizens, youth, and armed forces personnel," he said, adding that instead of learning from Pakistan’s experience in the war on terrorism the US is levelling allegations against it.

The minister alleged to Indian involvement in the recent dive in Pak-US relations, saying New Delhi’s opposition to CPEC is the reason behind this.

He stated that the US government has been told categorically that it should not pin the blame for its failure in Afghanistan to Pakistan. 

"India is using Afghan soil to launch attacks against Pakistan," he said further.

The minister also informed that the strategic dialogue between the two countries remains suspended, saying that a "language of cooperation should be used while talking to each other".

The Pakistani people, elected government, and armed forces have strict reservations on the threats by the US, he asserted. 

He said further that President Trump's statements and tweets are contrary to what has been conveyed to Pakistan by senior American leadership over time.

Dismissing the deadline given by the US to take action against the Haqqani Network, the minister said Pakistan is an independent nuclear power which cannot be given such deadlines.