US trying to convince us that India is not a threat, says Pakistan defence minister

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ISLAMABAD: The United States has tried to convince Pakistan that India was not a threat and Islamabad should change its strategic stance towards New Delhi, said Defense Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan.

He also said that it is time for a polite but still “relentless frank dialogue” with the United States “with everything on the table” to eliminate all misunderstandings between Islamabad and Washington.

Reading a policy statement on the outlines of the government’s foreign policy and the security situation in Pakistan in the National Assembly yesterday, he regretted that the United States minimized India’s aggressive stances along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary, The Dawn reported on Tuesday. .

The minister said that the perception of India was one of the fundamental divergences between Pakistan and the United States.

“It is time for a courteous but implacably sincere dialogue between Pakistan and the United States, with everything on the table,” said the defense minister.

Khan said Washington had been trying to convince Pakistan that India was not a threat and, therefore, Islamabad should change its strategic position.

Why is it so difficult for the United States to crack down on Pakistan?
“But the axiom is still true, both the capacity and intentions of India today are hostile to Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan accuses India of using Afghan soil to carry out hostile activities against it, an accusation that India dismissed.

Khan alleged that “India has amassed men, material and garrisons along the border with Pakistan” and said that 2017 was the deadliest year in terms of India’s LoC violations and killings of civilians.

“India is today a highly militarized and increasingly belligerent neighbor,” he said, adding that the implacably hostile and anti-Pakistan stance adopted by the current Indian government has drastically reduced the space for any defense of peace.

The minister said that Pakistan became a scapegoat because the United States was not winning (the war on terror) in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan had cleared the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Karachi and Balochistan under Operation ‘Zarb-i-Azb’ and that there were no safe havens for terrorists in the country.

He urged the United States to recognize the sacrifices that Pakistan and its people had made in the war on terrorism since 2001.
He also criticized the United States for not seeking internal reconciliation in Afghanistan, which had now become a safe haven for terrorists.