Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif was a featured speaker at an event organized by Washington-based think tank USIP (United States Institute of Peace) where he was interviewed by Dr. Moeed Yusuf. The topics of discussion ranged from US-Pakistani relations and President Donald Trump's new Afghan policy to Pakistan's ties with Afghanistan and India.
|Foreign Minister Asif with Dr. Moeed Yusuf at USIP in Washington|
Here are some of the key Points made by Mr. Asif at this event held in Washington D.C. on Oct 5, 2017:
1. US funded, armed and trained militants to fight the Soviets in 1980s as part of the Cold War, then walked away without helping to rehabilitate them and left it to Pakistan to deal with them.
2. Pakistan does want to deal with these militants who are a liability for the country. Pakistan is working on finding the best way to do it.
3. US domestic politics prevents action on gun violence but Washington expects Pakistan to demolish all militant groups overnight.
4. India has 66 banned armed groups engaged in insurgency all over India. Only 4 linked to Pakistan.
5. Indian government's data shows over 36,000 infiltration attempts in India occupied Kashmir in 2001 and only 30 this year.
6. Ex US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said that "India has always used Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. India has over the years been financing problems in Pakistan".
7. Gen Petraeus said at a RUSI presentation in 2016 that while he served as Centcom commander and then CIA chief, he saw no convincing evidence of Pakistan's support for Haqqanis.
8. Pakistan rejects US Defense Secretary Mattis' statement about working with Pakistan "one more time". Such talk is offensive to Pakistan and not conducive to cooperation with US.
9. The US has already lost the war in Afghanistan and now trying to salvage what it can from it. Further mistakes by US could force the Taliban and ISIS to get together and create a much bigger threat for Pakistan, the region and the West.
10. Indian Air Force Chief has threatened to carry out "surgical strikes" against Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. If that were to happen, don't expect any restraint from Pakistan.
Here's a video of the US Institute of Peace event featuring Khwaja Asif:
Trump's Afghan Strategy
Who are the Haqqanis?
US Gun Violence, Islamophobia and Terrorism
700,000 Indian Troops vs 10 Millon Kashmiris
Secretary Hagel on India Using Afghanistan Against Pakistan
Gen Petraeus Says No Evidence of Pakistani Support For Haqqanis
Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?
Are Russia and Iran Supporting the Afghan Taliban?
What if Modi Attacks Pakistan?
Kautilya's Doctrine Dominates India's Pakistan Policy