Trump under fire for bellicose words towards Pakistan


BEIJING Sept 9 (TNS): Top politicians from Pakistan and China criticised US President Donald Trump’s new policy in Afghanistan yesterday as they urged for peace talks with the Taliban.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing stood firmly behind its “ironclad friend” Pakistan, even though “some countries” did not give Islamabad the credit it deserved in fighting terrorism — a pointed reference to the US.

“The government and people of Pakistan have made huge sacrifices in the fight against terror for everyone to see and the international community should recognise that.”

Visiting his Chinese counterpart in Beijing, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told reporters that they believed there could be no military solution in Afghanistan, urging those involved in the conflict to “focus on a politically negotiated settlement.”

“China is playing a very constructive role in this regard,” he added.

Pakistan and Afghanistan will hold a new series of three-way talks later this year in China to push forward settlement negotiations with the Taliban.

Last month the US announced that it will send 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan in an effort to stamp out the Taliban which it has failed to defeat during the 16-year conflict.

While making the announcement, Mr Trump also accused Pakistan of giving the extremists a safe haven and threatened to withhold military aid.

That echoed longstanding claims by the Afghan government that have seen tensions rise to the point of border clashes this year.

Mr Asif has previously acknowledged only that Pakistan should put its “house in order.”