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FM Asif to leave for China on Sept 8 amid rift in Pak-US ties

BY IFTIKHAR MASHWANI

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will leave for China on an important official visit on September 8 to discuss the United States policy review for South Asia and Afghanistan, along with Donald Trump’s allegations claiming safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan.

In addition to the China visit, the Pakistani delegation will visit Russia, Iran and Turkey to consolidate its foreign policy and ties with the allies in order to give a befitting response to the US administration. In the first week after Eid-ul-Azha, Khawaja Asif will visit China. The Central Asian countries will be taken into confidence to develope regional strategies.

Afterwards, he will leave for Turkey, Iran and Russia. Official visits to these states have been finalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It should be recalled that China and Russia had come forward in support of Pakistan after President Trump’s accusations.

‘US should admit defeat in Afghanistan’

According to sources at Foreign Office, Islamabad is not in favour of worsening relations with the United States. FO told that the armed forces will continue their role in war against terrorism. Afghan issue will be sorted out with the help of dialogue with regional forces and it is important for these forces to play their role in achievement of peace, sources told.

It was further mentioned that Pakistan wiped out terrorism from its soil and took steps to achieve peace with neighbouring Afghanistan. “It would have been better if the US had admitted its defeat in Afghanistan,” the source added.

Chinese diplomat had defended Pakistan’s “important role” in Afghanistan in a phone call with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov lambasted Trump’s Pakistan strategy and insisted that Islamabad is “a key regional player to negotiate with.”

A Joint session of the National Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution denouncing the US President Donald Trump’s allegations. “American President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statements are threatening, we reject America s new Afghan policy,” the summary of the resolution read.

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