Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said there was a “huge trust deficit” between Islamabad and Washington over the the conflict in Afghanistan.
“Yes, there is a trust deficit, but we are talking,” Asif said, adding that there was a willingness on both sides to bridge this deficit.
According to The Express Tribune, Asif told a leading media outlet that that there were no “safe havens” in Pakistan, after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday.
Tillerson made his inaugural visit to Pakistan after Trump accused the country of providing “safe havens” to the terrorists.
Tillerson reiterated United States President Donald Trump’s message that Islamabad must increase its efforts to eradicate the militants and terrorists operating within the country.
Addressing the accusation by the U.S. and Afghanistan that Pakistan provides sanctuary to terrorists who plan attacks on Kabul, Asif blamed the ‘ineptitude’ of America and international forces there for not ending the conflict.
“They do not need our territory anymore. Almost 40 per cent of Afghan territory is now under the direct control of the Taliban,” the Foreign Minister added.
According to the report, U.S. military sources suggest the Taliban control about 10 per cent of Afghanistan and contest some 30 per cent of the count.
He also dismissed the possibility of economic sanctions by the U.S. in case it does not tackle the issue of Taliban, saying that Pakistan only received “a trickle” of economic assistance from America.
“We do not get any military hardware from them [the U.S.]. We are not like in the past when we were their proxy,” Asif said. (ANI)