Pakistani PM warns United States against cutting military assistance


Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said he hasn't received specific demands from the USA on combating alleged militant sanctuaries at the border with Afghanistan, following Donald Trump's announcement of a new South Asia strategy last month.

"We will put up a fence there; the Afghans are welcome to put up another fence on their side", he said.

The prime minister denied Pakistan was harbouring militants, insisting it was "fighting agents of chaos".

Abbasi himself in an interview last month said Trump's Afghanistan plan, which called on Pakistan's arch-rival India to play a greater role in the conflict, is poised to fail.

"If you want statistics, there is much more happening across the border from Afghanistan than anything that happens from Pakistan into Afghanistan". "All the criminal elements we are fighting are based in Afghanistan", Mr Abbasi said.

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Regarding the United States pressures, PM Abbasi said Islamabad has not received any specific demands from United States, promising that the country would take steps regarding any information they receive.

He denied the accusations that Pakistan supported militant groups as he batted away suggestions that Mr Trump's comments would upend relations between the Cold War allies.

He warned that Washington will not achieve its counter-terrorism aims by "starving" Pakistan of funds, adding that both countries need to make cooperative efforts to win over militancy in the region.

The prime minister reiterated that Pakistan was open to close cooperation as Pak-Afghan ties were decades old and could not be defined on the basis of one issue. "We need to address that issue, but there are other issues need to be discussed, there are other cooperation need to be done", he said. "We are open (with the US)".

He urged the United States to show more appreciation for Pakistan's losses in war on terror and its role in hosting 3.5 million Afghan refugees. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops have also used Pakistani ports and roads to move equipment into land-locked Afghanistan.