Pakistan can live without US aid but will not compromise on integrity, says Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif

Islamabad: Pakistan has made it clear to the US that Islamabad can live without American aid but will not compromise on its national integrity, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

He told the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that Pakistan's relations with the US were not as per routine after President Donald Trump's remarks, The News reported.

"Pakistan is trying to maintain a balance in its relationship with US and the government has made it clear that Pakistan can live without aid by US but will not compromise on national integrity," he said.

Asif told the meeting that continuous jibes at Pakistan are all accusations to put the responsibility of US failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan.

"We have to stand up to those who accuse us of harbouring terrorists," he remarked.

He also made it clear that Pakistan could no more host refugees from Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been repeatedly seeking assistance in the repatriation of the Afghan refugees and to work on border management with Afghanistan, he said.

The US and others have long complained that Pakistan offered safe havens to the Afghan Taliban and their allies, the Haqqani Network, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

Pakistan denies allegations but President Trump has escalated the criticism against the country since he took office last January.

Early this month, Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but "lies and deceit" in return for $33 billion aid and said Islamabad has provided "safe haven" to terrorists.

This is the strongest attack that has come from the US president.

Updated Date: Jan 18, 2018 20:48 PM

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