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Indian politicians want to distract Pakistanís attention from the war on terror: Khawaja Asif

16 June, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday said “By issuing provocative statements, Indian politicians want to distract Pakistan’s attention from the war on terror,” he said, adding that India had been “promoting terrorism in Pakistan.”

He further added that if forced into war by India, Pakistan will respond in a befitting manner, adding that “our arms are not meant for decoration.”

“If need be, we will use them [arms] against India,” said Asif.

Speaking at a book-launch ceremony in Islamabad, the defence minister severely criticised a recent series of hostile statements from Indian politicians.

The defence minister said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had placed the recent “threatening statements” from India before United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a recent meeting between the two in Dushanbe.

Talking on US foreign policy, the minister said America had miserably failed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This is, in fact, a failure of their foreign policy,” he said referring to American interventions in the two countries.

“Unfortunately, Pakistan jumped into America’s war against the Soviets and is now facing the consequences of that decision in the shape of widespread terrorism.”

Asif was of the view that American foreign policy is closely linked to their national interests, adding that Pakistan ought to mirror the United States in this regard.

Khawaja Asif also lauded the government’s decision to not get involved in the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen.

“Our decision not to be a part of the war in Yemen was a wise one. But in case Saudi Arabia’s security is threatened in the future, Pakistan will move to protect the kingdom.”

The defence minister was highly critical of local media, especially local television channels, during his talk. He said TV channels were commercial in nature and leaned towards creating content they could easily sell.

“There is a need to balance commercialism and nationalism,” lamented Asif.

He also criticised local media for not highlighting the brutalities inflicted by the Indian army on residents of occupied Kashmir. “There seems to be no charm for television channels in highlighting the Kashmir issue,” he said, adding that media should promote Pakistan’s national and foreign policy objectives.

Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday underscored that Pakistan will not hold dialogue with India on her terms, adding that there can be no dialogue without the water issue and Kashmir as topics for discussion.

Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad after an inauguration of the 10th meeting of heads of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries, Aziz said that even if cordial terms are not possible with India, Pakistan wants to maintain tension-free relations with her.

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