WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the United States plan to conduct “structured dialogue” very soon, Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal said early Friday morning during a press conference.
“We do not want dollars; we would rather extend an alliance based on mutual respect,” he added, saying Pakistan hopes for a “friendly, respectful” relationship.
Iqbal went on to say it was not acceptable to Pakistan that the US’ security requisites are met but Islamabad’s concerns are ignored.
The US cannot hamper Pakistan’s economic relief, Iqbal added.
“We want recognition of Pakistan’s efforts in the war against terrorism.”
Commenting on South Asia’s strategic issues, the minister mentioned that regional autonomy should be understood and respected. He explained that Pakistan and Afghanistan are closely linked to each other and will continue to be.
Islamabad and Washington, therefore, can together play a pivotal role in Afghanistan and the related peace process.
Further, in response to a question about a hearing that US Senator John Sullivan attended, Iqbal said, “it was acknowledged that Pakistan and its relations with Afghanistan are both a critical part of the peace process in Afghanistan.”
“Without better linkages, it (peace process) will not be successful. For peace in Afghanistan, US-Pak need to be restrengthened.”
Iqbal also highlighted that terrorism is a disease that affects people around the world, which is why the global fraternity must come together to fight it.
“Terrorists are terrorists”, no matter which side of the border they are on, he said, referring to the US’ claim that senior leadership of the Afghan Taliban has taken refuge in Pakistan.
“Share intel on terrorists; we are ready to conduct operations,” he stressed. NNI