FM urges US not to view ties with Pak only through Afghan or Indian lens

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—Qureshi says aid was not part of any of the talks with US officials

Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi Saturday urged the United States (US) not to view the relations with Pakistan only through an Afghan perspective or its [US’] ties with India.

Addressing media in Multan after returning from his trip to the US, the foreign minister apprised that he tried to impress upon his American counterparts to view US’ relations with Pakistan, which date back seven decades, independently and not from Afghan perspective or the Indian lens.

Qureshi stressed that Pakistan’s contribution for peace and stability in the region should be acknowledged.

The foreign minister, who met US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton in Washington earlier in the week, said it would be wrong to expect that all differences between the US and Pakistan could be resolved in one day.

He said that while it was not possible to cover the entire journey in one sitting, the Foreign Office will continue its efforts to represent the country effectively on international fora.

FM Qureshi dispelled the impression that he travelled to the US in search for aid and said that aid was not a part of any of the talks. Moreover, Qureshi clarified that funds for Pakistan cancelled by Washington earlier this year were “reimbursement” and not “aid”.

“Foreign affairs is a component of government policy for which discussions should be held regardless of political differences, in the interest of the federation,” said Qureshi.

On the arrest Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, the foreign minister denied Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s role in the matter and said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is an independent institution which had taken the action after investigation.

“We have to respect the courts,” he added.