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Pakistan-US share common desire for peace in Afghanistan: Khawaja Asif

05 October, 2017

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WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday raised the issue of United States' South Asia Policy with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and told him that Islamabad had pursued a zero-tolerance and an indiscriminate approach in its campaign against "all terrorist and militant groups", read a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday.

Pakistan and the US shared a common desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large, the foreign minister maintained.

The minister pointed out that Pakistan had been making achievements in its war against terrorism. "In contrast to other countries, the incidences of terrorism in Pakistan have seen a marked decline - with a salutary impact on economic and commercial activity," Asif was quoted as saying.

"This was made possible because Pakistan has pursued a zero-tolerance and an indiscriminate approach in its campaign against all terrorist and militant groups."

The foreign minister informed the US secretary of state about the strong public reaction in Pakistan regarding the pronouncement of the US administration's South Asia Policy, which Asif said was based on "inadequate recognition of Pakistan's sterling contribution in the fight against terrorism".

In addition to huge human and material cost incurred by Pakistan, Asif said, "Our cultural ethos as a moderate state had suffered due to protracted instability in Afghanistan."

Secretary Tillerson acknowledged and appreciated the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the struggle against terrorism, said the press release. He agreed that cooperation between Pakistan and the US in Afghanistan was crucial to achieving durable peace and stability in the region. "Pakistan's interests and concerns will be accommodated, since its role was critical to President Trump's South Asia Strategy," he was quoted as saying.

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