Pakistan share concerns on new U.S. strategy, greater Indian role in Afghanistan

Cheryl Sanders
September 21, 2017

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will address the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in NY tonight.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said Pakistan has a fully secure, reliable and robust nuclear command and control system under a full civilian oversight.

Pakistan's foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua has told local media reporters that Abbasi during the meeting expressed concern over the greater role the new policy advocated for India. According to content of the meeting made available to the media, we understand it remained substantive as both the sides agreed to resolve their bilateral issues through dialogue and for this goal a U.S. delegation will also visit Pakistan next month.

The newly-elected Pakistan Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced on Wednesday that they have developed short-range nuclear weapons to counter the "Cold Start" doctrine - a method adopted by the Indian Armed Forces to prevent a nuclear retaliation from Pakistan in cases of possible war. He said Pakistan meant to continue efforts to "eliminate terrorism".

Asked about India's role in Afghanistan, Abbasi said, "Zero".

He said he reiterated the belief of the President of the United States that Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in the region. During the meeting, Pence highlighted ways that Pakistan could work with the United States and others to bolster stability and prosperity for all in South Asia.

With regard to Sunday's victory of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate and Sharif's wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, in the NA-120 by-election, the Prime Minister said the result shows that the electorate trusts Nawaz Sharif's leadership.

Premier Abbasi is scheduled to address the UNGA today.

Pakistan Tuesday stressed maintaining a positive trajectory in bilateral relations for promoting trade and economic cooperation with Iran and added that increased high-level engagements between the two countries was contributing to deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields.

"I believe that not only the quantity but [it is] also the quality of education that matters", the Prime Minister said. He said Pakistan contributed to a "very hard war", suffered casualties and economic losses.

Responding to another question about Pakistan's spy agency ISI having terror links, the prime minister dismissed any links between the Haqqani network and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

He said periodic meetings are held and a regular review is undertaken to ensure the safety and security of the country's nuclear assets.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry said that the PM's "aggressive" speech was prepared keeping in view India's interference in Pakistan and New Delhi's state-sponsored terror in Kashmir.

Both the sides noted that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and stressed the need for efforts for a regional approach for an internal political settlement in Afghanistan through an Afghan-owned Afghan-led peace process.

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