New York: Pakistan sees "zero" political or military role for India in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Thursday, weeks after US president Donald Trump sought more help from New Delhi to bring peace and stability in the war-torn country.
Trump, while announcing his new Afghan and South Asia policy last month, had criticised Pakistan for harbouring terrorists. He had also called on India to help the US more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.
Asked about India's role in Afghanistan, Abbasi said, "Zero."
"We don't foresee any political or military role for India in Afghanistan. I think it will just complicate the situation and it will not resolve anything. So if they want to do economic assistance, that's their prerogative, but we don't accept or see any role politically or militarily for India in Afghanistan," Abbasi said.
When asked about India's business role in Afghanistan, he said, "That's up to them. All countries have the right to trade with each other, invest in other countries. So if they want to do that and India has invested in Afghanistan in the past," Abbasi said.
On links between the Haqqani network and Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, he maintained that Pakistan condoned such activities.
"..We do not condone any activities by any organisation to pose a terrorist threat within Pakistan or to export it to other countries," Abbasi said.
Also, he denied the presence of terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan and added that individuals like Hafeez Saeed, who belonged to "proscribed organisations" were also taken under house arrest.
"This perception that there are (terrorist) sanctuaries is absolutely not correct. We have defeated the enemy on our own territory. We have destroyed the sanctuaries.And today the cross-border incursions, if they happen, are from Afghanistan into Pakistan to attack our forces," he said.
He further said that Pakistan was ready to take action against any such terrorist sanctuary in Afghanistan if they were given information about it.
Addressing a New York audience at an event organised by the Council on Foreign Relations — a top American think-tank — Abbasi said Pakistan wanted its relationship with the US to move forward despite differences.
"The objective is the same: to fight terror and bring peace to Afghanistan. So that's our policy, and I think our performance on the ground proves that that we've fought terror, we defeated terror on our soil, and we intend to continue with that," he said.
Responding to a question US drone strike, Abbasi said all the forces operating in the region have to respect Pakistani sovereignty.
"That s the way it should be. We respect Afghan sovereignty, they should respect our sovereignty. And bases are provided as requested. I don't think there's a need for bases anymore on our territory," he said.
Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 22:39 PM