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Want peace with India, but New Delhi not responding: New Pakistan foreign minister

By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 07, Aug 2017, 12:23 pm IST | UPDATED: 07, Aug 2017, 12:25 pm IST

Want peace with India, but New Delhi not responding: New Pakistan foreign minister Islamabad: Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Pakistan's new foreign minister, on Sunday suggested that India was to blame for the deterioration in relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, Pakistani media reported.  

Asif was speaking in Sialkot at his maiden press conference since taking charge of the Pakistan foreign ministry. Asif said that Pakistan has always wanted to have good relations with India and Afghanistan but the two countries had failed to give a "positive response" to Islamabad's peace overtures.

"It's high time for both India and Afghanistan to come forward as good neighbours and give positive response to Pakistan's peace initiatives and end the blame game," Asif was quoted as saying by Dawn.

At the same time, Asif, who previously was in charge of defence in ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's cabinet, linked lasting peace between India and Pakistan to a resolution to the Kashmir issue.

"We know how to secure our borders, however, lasting peace can only be attained through solving the Kashmir issue," the foreign minister was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Asif went on to reiterate Pakistan's traditional position that Islamabad that the people of Kashmir have a right to self-determination.

In his press conference, Asif also spoke about terrorism. Dawn reported him saying that his country was playing a crucial role in battling militants and claiming that the international community at large had shown appreciation for Pakistani efforts to combat terror.

"Pakistan has been fighting the war on terror for a long time now and the threat has decreased now owing to the great sacrifices made by the Pakistan Army," he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Notably, Asif's comments on terrorism came just a day after the United States, once again, asked Pakistan to end its 'selective' support for certain terror groups. The US National Security Adviser Gen HR McMaster told American media that President Donald Trump wanted a "change in behavior" from those involved in Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan.
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