Cooperate with Pakistan don't criticise it, Dastagir urges world powers

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While speaking at a conference on Tuesday, Khan remarked that everything between USA and Pakistan is out in the open now. Pakistani officials, who have interacted with U.S. officials on this issue, say that they too have the same ambition: ridding the region, particularly Afghanistan, of militants.

Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan said that Pakistan just wants acknowledgement of its sacrifices.

At a seminar titled "Contours of Security Environment of Pakistan", he reportedly said that despite the United States spending billions of dollars, it was facing defeat in Afghanistan and was using Pakistan as a scapegoat for its failures.

Dastagir underscored that without a continuous working level dialogue, no high level interactions could be fruitful and dialogue has to be kept open as long as the United States is fighting the war in Afghanistan.

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"Pakistan is being made a scapegoat".

The minister said the successful conduct of operation with Zarb-e-Azb and ongoing Raddul Fasaad had made Pakistan and region a citadel of peace. Answering another question, Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan and China were partners and all weather friends.

According to reports, Pakistan may allow China to build the military base in Jiwani which is also close to Gwadar port being developed by Beijing. "CPEC is the first ever project in history of Pak-China relationship that will actually bring economical success to region", he added.

Pakistani demonstrators burn images of President Donald Trump and the US flag during a protest against USA aid cuts in Lahore on January 5.

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US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis at his weekend briefing at the Pentagon urged Islamabad to cooperate with the US in defeating the Afghan Taliban, including the Haqqani Network which, he says, has safe havens inside Pakistan and uses them to recuperate and re-launch attacks into Afghanistan.

In his concluding remarks, Chairman Ambassador Khalid Mahmood said that world should not ignore Pakistan's sacrifices in war against terrorism.

The minister, however, added that, the supply lines for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan will not be closed.

"We would like Pakistan to come to the table and assist us in this effort", he said adding that the suspension of security aid is not a cutoff and no funds have been reprogrammed. Talking to Voice of American Embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire said, "We have not received any formal communication regarding a suspension".

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