Pakistan is open to joint efforts against terrorist sanctuaries: PM


ISLAMABAD Sep 13 (TNS):  Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that his country is open to joint efforts, including bilateral verifications, joint patrols and posts, to eliminate terrorists’ sanctuaries allegedly based in Pakistan. Abbasi made the remarks regarding to current tensions with the United States.

US President Donald Trump unveiled his policies toward Afghanistan and South Asia last month. The president criticized Pakistan for bearing terrorist sanctuaries in which militants the United State fight against in Afghanistan are hiding.

Abbasi told foreign reporters in Islamabad that Pakistan “has done more than its part” in addressing the terrorism issue as “no body wants peace in the region more than Pakistan,” and emphasized that “we are very open to bilateral verification if any body says there are sanctuaries in Pakistan. We shall take action against sanctuary if pointed.”

He added that, however, Pakistan has not yet received any list of measures from the U.S. side to fight against the alleged terrorist sanctuaries.

“Pakistan offered cooperation and Pakistan continues to offer cooperation against terrorism,” said the prime minister.

The United States has conditioned future aid to Pakistan on the progress it tackles the terrorism group of Haqqani network which is believed to be carrying out terrorist attacks at allied forces in Afghanistan.

Abbasi said bilateral ties between Pakistan and the United States cannot be defined only by the Afghan issue. “We need to address that issue, but there are other issues need to be discussed, there are other cooperation to be done,” he said.

“This relationship needs to be strengthened… Pak-U.S. relations are based on cooperation and collaboration rather than aid based or assistance based relationship. Pakistan is a large market and the U.S. companies are getting opportunities of billions of dollars here,” said Abbasi.