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Pakistan to determine new but correct direction: Khawaja Asif

08 September, 2017

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Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif arrived in China on Friday at the start of his regional outreach for consultations on the new US policy on Afghanistan and South Asia.

Addressing a joint press conference after his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, Asif said that the two countries agreed that the solution to the Afghan conflict has to be fundamentally political and that there is no military solution to the issue.

He appreciated China's efforts in ending the Afghan conflict, saying that Pakistan and China can together contribute to a political solution to the conflict, Radio Pakistan reported.

Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign minister said Pakistan and China stand together in the changing regional and global scenario.

"China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its national sovereignty and dignity," he said. He said peace in Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan, China and the entire region. "We reaffirmed that only the advancement of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is the viable way out to address the Afghan issue."

After his China visit, Asif will travel to Iran. He has also planned meetings with Russian and Turkish leaders.

Both Moscow and Beijing have criticised the US position on Pakistan and have insisted that Pakistan’s importance for peace in Afghanistan and its sacrifices in the fight against terrorism need to be recognised.
Trump's diatribe

Trump had in his August 21 speech announced a new strategy for Afghanistan while denouncing Pakistan for allegedly allowing terrorists to maintain safe havens inside its territory.

He also seemed to want India to take on a bigger role in Afghanistan, stoking fears in Islamabad that India would use this opportunity for stirring trouble in the bordering areas of Pakistan.

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