Khawaja critical of US, hopes of resolve with India through talks

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ISLAMABAD-

Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday criticized United States for having failed to restore peace in the region with its policies, a private news channel reported.

“People of this region had to bear the brunt of US policies which have failed to ensure peace,” said the minister while taking to media persons at Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad.

Radio Pakistan reported the defence minister saying Pakistan desires peace with India but its desire should not be taken as its weakness.

Pakistan and India can resolve their disputes through dialogue and should adopt the path of negotiation, he added.

Asif said that soon after coming in power, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his desire for peace with India. However, he regretted that for the last few months, this desire has been misconceived by the other side.

He said the process of unprovoked firing by Indian forces is not good for peace.

Answering a question, the minister said contacts and trade between SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries should be increased for rapid development and prosperity of member countries.

To a question, the Defence Minister said military operation against terrorists is being carried out without any discrimination. He said our armed forces are giving innumerous sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

The minister said peace and stability in Afghanistan is imperative for peace in the region. He said no country should interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan for peace in that country. He said Pakistan will not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

Earlier, addressing a function at the Institute, the Minister said China is extending cooperation to help improve economy of Pakistan.