US doesn’t understand ground realities: defence minister

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir said that the United States has tried to convince Pakistan that there are no threats from India but the ground realities are different.

He made these comments at a public talk titled “Contours of Pakistan’s Security Environment” organised by Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Tuesday.

“Pakistan is consolidating its gains made in the war against terrorism and regional and international powers should cooperation instead of criticising it,” the minister added.

He went on to say that the US has not suspended aid under its recent decision, however, the country has actually suspended all efforts for dialogue on countering terrorism.

“Pakistan suffered the most being an ally of the United States and a price tag cannot be placed on the many sacrifices made by our citizens, armed forces as well as economic losses sustained,” Dastagir said.

US blaming Pakistan for its own failures in Afghanistan: Khurram Dastagir

He underscored that without a continuous working level dialogue, no high level interactions could be fruitful and dialogue has to be kept open as long as the US is fighting the war in Afghanistan.

He highlighted that Islamabad after concerted efforts over the last four years has come out of the tirades of extremism, terrorism, energy crisis and is on its way towards sustainability of these gains.

The defence minister said the pervasive insurgency in Afghanistan is  “a continuous threat for us”.

He said a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan is one of Pakistan’s foreign policy priorities.”It is very sad that the US blames Pakistan for supporting terrorist outfits in Afghanistan but it does not even lift a finger in supporting Pakistan for effective border management.”

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s moral, diplomatic and political struggle to the Kashmiri people.

When talking about Pakistan’s strengthening ties with China and Russia, the minister said, “Our all-weather friendship with China has been transformed into partnership through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.”

He said Pakistan has also signed defence cooperation agreement with Russia and joint exercises are also being conducted.

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