Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday underscored the importance diplomacy in the resolution of the Afghan conflict, saying that “the US is relying too much on its military” when it should giving certain concessions to the militant groups who are willing to negotiate.
In an interview with the foreign media outlet, the minister said the US create space for bringing the militant groups, who are willing to talk, to the table.
He also called out the US for acting unilaterally in the region, saying such actions are detrimental to the US interests in the region. He, however, further said that the military operations should only be undertaken in places where they are required, but after taking the allies into confidence.
Iqbal espoused the importance of Pakistan as a regional ally of the US, saying that the US cannot defeat al Qaeda without the help of Pakistan.
The interior minister went on to highlight the geographic, political and strategic importance of the alliance between Pakistan and the US, reiterating that both countries needed to work together for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The minister said that a disruption in bilateral ties between Pakistan and the US would further reduce communication between the two countries, which would create more complications.
Responding to questions on the implications of a temporary freeze in US aid for the country’s economy, Iqbal stated that Pakistan, as a sovereign nation, was not dependent on charity.
“We have not been receiving a substantial amount of humanitarian or military aid from the US. In fact, the humanitarian aid which is given to us through the platform of USAID does not go to the government of Pakistan, but is rather distributed amongst non-governmental organisations,” Iqbal disclosed.
As part of his current visit to Washington, Ahsan Iqbal also met US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.
During the meeting, both officials stressed the need to join hands for sustainable peace and prosperity in the south Asian region.
John J Sullivan noted that cooperation between Pakistan and United States is must for peace and stability in the region.
The interior minister apprised the US deputy secretary of Pakistan’s achievements against terrorism. He said that fighting terrorism is part of National Action Plan, which was chalked out keeping in view national peace and prosperity.