Khar rejects US ‘ultimatum’ reports on Haqqani

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 17:09

Islamabad: Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina
Rabbani Khar has rejected the impression that Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton had given her an ultimatum to attack the
Haqqani network, blamed for a recent attack on the US Embassy
in Kabul.

"There are some misperceptions about the three-and-half
hour meeting I had with Secretary Clinton...There were no
ultimatums from either side," Khar told reporters in New York.

Pakistan has a "relationship of choice" with the US on
the basis of mutual interests, she said.

The Pakistan-US relationship is an important one and "no
one is a hostage in it", said Khar, who is heading Pakistan`s
delegation to the UN General Assembly session.
She added: "Pakistan is in it (the relationship) by
choice."

Unnamed US officials were quoted by the Western media as
saying after Sunday`s talks between Khar and Clinton that the
issues of counter-terrorism and the Haqqani network were the
thrust of the discussions.

However, Khar contended that her meeting with Clinton was
not "uni-dimensional" or devoted to a single issue as it
covered all issues of interest to Pakistan and the US.
"It was intense but very constructive," she said.
Both sides had candid discussions on a wide range of
issues with a view to improving bilateral ties, she said.

Both the US and Pakistan, Khar said, understand the need
to cooperate and build a partnership.

Pakistan had made "big" sacrifices in combating terrorism
as it had lost some 30,000 citizens and 5,000 security
personnel in the war on terror, she said.

"We need to be assisted, not recriminated. There should
be no public recrimination. This must stop," she said.

Pakistan even paid a heavy price for arresting Al-Qaeda
leader Younis al-Mauritani in Quetta recently as 30 people
lost their lives in a revenge attack, Khar remarked.

Pakistan is committed to rooting out terrorism and is
fulfilling its obligations in this regard, she said.

But Pakistan acts "in its own national interest (and) not
at the behest of someone", she pointed out.

Pakistan also wants peace and stability in Afghanistan
and will support any Afghan-lead reconciliation process or
whatever goal the Afghan people set for themselves, Khar said.

The stakes are very high in Afghanistan and Pakistan is
aware that it will have to deal "with the baggage when the
conflict was over", she said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 17:09

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