BRUSSELS: Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir has said Pakistan, for the time being, is no longer receiving American support for its army and anti-terrorist operations.
Talking to a Belgian news channel VRT News, he said, “Europe must help in re-establishing our relationship with the US.”
The defence minister said the Americans wanted to pin the blame for their military failure in Afghanistan on Pakistan.
“Pakistan is the scapegoat because the US has not been able to get the peace process in Afghanistan on track for 15 years,” he said, adding that it was mainly because the Americans only wanted to kill terrorists without a long-term vision for the country.
“If you don’t try to reconcile the different communities, the war there will never stop,” he said. “As long as there is no peace in Afghanistan, the situation will remain troubled in Pakistan.”
He went on to say that Islamabad is disappointed with Washington’s change of policy.
“They are opting for threatening language and think that confrontation will yield more than cooperation,” the defence minister said, adding, “But we are counting on Europe to change US’ mindset [because] if anyone can arouse Trump’s attention, it is Europe and NATO.”
Regarding terrorism in Afghanistan, he said, “We condemn all terror, wherever it occurs and that is why we are now building a fence along the border with Afghanistan so that we can no longer be accused of letting terrorists pass unpunished.”
According to the defence minister, it was a pity that the Americans were suspending their support just now.
“America is now asking us why we are not opening up our large consumer market to them, with some 207 million Pakistanis,” he said. “But China and Europe did not let us fall in the most difficult moments, and today they are reaping the benefits. China is helping us in infrastructure works, and both China and the European Union can supply us with consumer goods.”