Friday Aug 06, 2021
WASHINGTON: Pakistan National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf categorically denied reports claiming he had complained about US President Joe Biden not calling Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Moeed Yusuf was talking to media in the US capital after holding discussions with senior Biden administration officials, including NSA Jake Sullivan, on the evolving security situation in the region in light of the escalating Afghanistan violence.
In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this week, Yusuf had said that Washington's lack of initiative to interact with Islamabad is beyond his understanding.
“The president of the United States hasn’t spoken to the prime minister of such an important country who the US itself says is make-or-break in some cases, in some ways, in Afghanistan — we struggle to understand the signal, right?” Yusuf had told the UK paper.
While briefing about his US visit, Yusuf said he had detailed discussions with US investors about Pakistan’s economic security.
He said that both countries should look to the future, instead of dwelling on the past, when it came to the Afghanistan issue. "We are concerned about the current situation in the country,” he stressed.
Peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of both Islamabad and Washington, Yusuf added.
He said that unfortunately, Afghanistan has been shifting the blame of its failures on Pakistan.
“I came here on Prime Minister Imran Khan's directives to figure out a political solution to the Afghan imbroglio,” Moeed Yusuf said, adding that he did not complain about the US president not calling the Pakistani prime minister.
The NSA stressed that Pakistan wants brotherly relations with all countries. He spoke highly of the friendship between Islamabad and Beijing, saying that “China has helped Pakistan in strengthening our economy.”
While responding to a question about the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conditions, Yusuf said he did not speak on the matter with US officials.
“Pakistan has completed work on 26 out of 27 points of FATF action plan. Everyone knows about the Indian NSA’s statement related to Pakistan on the FATF issue.”
In response to another question about the Afghan refugees, Moeed Yusuf said they should be settled in their own country and should not be moved to other countries.
His response on the issue came a day after the US State Department asked Pakistan to keep its borders open for Afghan refugees.
“So, in a place like Pakistan, it’ll be important that their borders remain open,” a senior State Department official had told journalists.