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Pak Defence Minister says ties with US being reassessed

Pak Defence Minister says ties with US being reassessed

Islamabad, Sept 14 (UNI) Pakistan Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that his country was "reassessing" its ties with United States. Dastgir told reporters here at the Defence Ministry yesterday that the onus of satisfying the US about its concerns was not on Pakistan. “We are here to give our point of view logically and with evidence. We will explain our position. But it’s not for us to satisfy them,” he added. "The Government is currently reassessing ties with the US and has simultaneously undertaken a regional outreach ahead of talks with the US on future bilateral engagement," Dastgir said. Mr Dastgir said the two countries -- US and Pakistan -- needed a frank and candid dialogue on the issues concerning them, as differences between them would reflect in Afghanistan and other regional issues. In the meanwhile, according to the media reports here including in the "Dawn" today, the Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, after accompanying Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to the UN General Assembly session in New York next week, is expected to visit Washington for the awaited meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr Asif’s meeting with Mr Tillerson was originally scheduled for mid-August, but was postponed on Pakistan’s request after US President Donald Trump’s policy statement on Afghanistan and South Asia. The statement was seen here as dismissive of Pakistan's "sacrifices" in the fight against terrorism and indifferent to Pakistan’s security concerns. Mr Trump’s speech, in which he accused Pakistan of not adequately acting against terrorist sanctuaries on its soil, was roundly condemned in Pakistan. Despite all reservations, however, consensus generally existed that a rupture in relations with US was not an option. UNI XC-SNU 1246

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