Pakistan fought ‘made in America jihad’, Asif tells NA

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Everyone knows who is backing IS; Troops in Saudi Arabia for ‘internal security’

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Friday that the United States wants to make Pakistan its proxy state, adding that Pakistan will never become a proxy of the US.
Addressing the National Assembly, he said, “The enemy has crossed the ocean and is fomenting conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and other states while leaders of the Muslim World facilitate the enemy,” said Asif.
“Pakistan is being targeted specifically since it enjoys a leadership status in the Muslim World,” he explained further. Talking about the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan, Asif said the terrorist outfit has not been wiped out but has only changed its address.
Despite the presence of the US with all its military might in Afghanistan, the production of heroin has increased from 200 tonnes to 9,000 tonnes, he complained.
“Unfortunately, Muslim countries are not united on even a single issue, nor are they ready to talk to each other,” he complained, adding that the Muslim Ummah does not seem to need an external enemy.
“The Ummah seeks our help during their time of hardship, so we [Pakistan] have become a target of anger [of some international powers],” he claimed.
The foreign minister said Pakistan did not take part in the Yemen war, adding that it wants Iran and Saudi Arabia to end their differences. “We will not protect any other power but safeguard our own interests,” he asserted.
With regard to the US-led war on terror, he claimed that Pakistan’s leaders sold off the country to safeguard their positions. “We fought a ‘made in America’ jihad and created jihadis, and added the whole world knows who is behind Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” said the minister. Asif also wished to see a peaceful Afghanistan.
Khawaja Asif alleged that the leaders signed agreement and sold the country for their own interests. He said that the ‘super power’ is in Afghanistan but “The Taliban are operating in 43 per cent of Afghanistan, and yet they blame us for facilitating the Haqqani Network.”
The Minister said that the situation on the Line of Control and Working Boundary has been rapidly deteriorating since 2017. He said heavy weapons, including mortars are frequently used by the Indian forces, on the civilian population on the Pakistani side of the LOC and the Working Boundary.
Asif continued since the beginning of this year, the Indian occupation forces carried out more than 400 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the martyrdom of 18 innocent Pakistani civilians. He said this escalation at the LoC and Working Boundary is an attempt to divert the attention of the international community from Indian atrocities in IOK.
Replying to a question, the minister said that the government will increase the number of community welfare officers in those foreign countries, where overseas Pakistanis were living in a large number to resolve their issues timely there. With the increase of these community welfare officers, the issues of overseas Pakistanis could be addressed in a better way, he added. He said that the government will make efforts for detained Pakistanis in Saudi Arab and Spain, continuing that the total number of Pakistanis imprisoned in the jails of Spain was 177 at present with the most common charges were drug trafficking, financial fraud, robbery or theft.
In a written reply in the House, Khawaja Asif said after a negative tweet of the US President, Pakistani leadership decided that Pakistan’s response would be measured. He said that National Security Committee in its meetings afterwards took stock of the entire situation. Khawaja Asif said, during recent high-level engagements with the visiting US delegations, they were told that the unwarranted allegations by the US President belie the cooperative history of the relationship, which served mutual interests in the region.

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