Pakistani ambassador hits back at US envoy

Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 04 January 2018
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Pakistani ambassador hits back at US envoy

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, has hit back at critical remarks by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.
“We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting international terrorism,” Lodhi said in response to Haley saying the US would continue to withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan until the country became a better partner in the war on terror.
“US spokespersons should not shift the blame for their own mistakes and failures onto others,” Lodhi added.
“We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated. Pakistan’s cooperation is not based on any consideration of aid, but on our national interests and principles.”
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump criticized Pakistan on Twitter. This was followed by Haley’s claim that “Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration.”
Key Pakistani Cabinet ministers and the heads of the armed forces on Tuesday held an emergency meeting of the National Security Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The committee said close interactions with the US since Trump’s policy announcement on South Asia had been useful in creating a better understanding of each other’s perspectives and moving forward to achieve durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
As such, the Trump administration’s criticisms “were completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts,” and were made “with great insensitivity,” the committee said.
The US criticisms “negated the decades of sacrifices” made by Pakistan, which “has contributed so significantly to regional and global security and peace,” the committee added.


Pakistani PM Khan vows to hold peace talks with India

Updated 23 October 2018
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Pakistani PM Khan vows to hold peace talks with India

  • India has long accused Pakistan of backing militants in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between the two countries
  • 500,000 Delhi soldiers are positioned in the portion of Kashmir India controls

RIYADH: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday vowed to hold peace talks with arch-rival India following elections in the neighboring country, after a similar offer from the former cricketer was “rebuffed.”
Khan made the announcement during a speech at a Saudi Arabian investment conference where the newly minted leader launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors as Pakistan seeks to secure funds amid a yawning balance of payment crisis.
“When I won the elections and came to power the first thing I tried to do was extend a hand of peace to India,” Khan told the crowd at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, saying the overture was later “rebuffed” by Delhi.
“Now what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will resume our peace talks with India,” he added, referring to upcoming nationwide polls scheduled to take place by mid-May.
In September India pulled the plug on a rare meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of a UN summit — a move that was termed “arrogant” by Khan and unleashed a barrage of insults from both sides.
India has long accused Pakistan of backing militants in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both since independence in 1947.
Delhi has stationed about 500,000 soldiers in the portion of Kashmir it controls, where separatist groups demand independence or a merger with Pakistan.
Khan’s call for peace talks comes as his administration is desperately seeking funds from “friendly” countries, including Saudi Arabia, to shore up Pakistan’s deteriorating finances.
The prime minister’s attendance at the FII comes as leading policy-makers and corporate chiefs shunned the conference in response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
During his address at the FII Khan confirmed that Pakistan was also in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a new bailout.
Since taking power in August Khan has also sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials, and embarked on a series of high-profile populist austerity measures.
But help has been in short supply and economists’ warnings have grown increasingly urgent.