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Pakistan FM: US claims against Pakistan 'hollow allegations'

Pakistan FM: US claims against Pakistan 'hollow allegations'

A day after Indian Air Force chief BS Dhanoa said the Indian Air Force can "locate, fix, and strike" Pakistan's nukes, foreign minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif hit back saying if that happens, nobody should "expect restraint" from Islamabad.

"We want peace and harmony with our neighbours but if India But if India carries out any surgical strike in Pakistan or strikes at its nuclear installations then things might get worse", he warned.

"The US government and army can not make Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures in Afghanistan", Zakaria said in his weekly briefing.

His meeting with the United States (US) Vice President Mark Pence, who indicated the desire to remain engaged with Pakistan, also signifies a sort of climb-down by US from the position taken by the US President while announcing his policy.

Asif expressed the hope that worldwide media, particularly United States media, would play a positive role in Pakistan's efforts towards establishing regional peace and "reflect Pakistan's changing realities in its reporting".

To a question regarding the Foreign Minister's visit to the United States, he said the USA has acknowledged Pakistan's vital role and cooperation for solution to Afghan issue. But it was good.

While answering a question on relations with India, Asif pulled out a folder that contained clippings of Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa's statement, which was a conceptual one about the IAF's reach. "We are genuinely concerned with respect to the role accorded in the strategy to India in general and its efforts, geared towards destabilisation in Balochistan, in particular".

He agreed that cooperation between Pakistan and the U.S. in Afghanistan was crucial to achieving durable peace and stability in the region.

"On our part, we have completely wiped out all the hideouts used by terrorists and anti-state elements".

"Name an intelligence agency of any country that does not have links [to armed groups]".

"If there's any way for Pakistan and India to open their border to trade at great economic advantage to both of the countries, it would be a big help across the region", he said. "We are a peaceful country and we do not want war with them, but we will defend ourselves and have the capability to do so", he said.

At his interaction with US & Foreign Media at the Embassy late night, he told the media that after the announcement of this South Asia Strategy, the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the US has taken a new turn.

In the midst of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the possibility of India launching a "limited war", India has revived its decades-old combat division comprising tanks and armored vehicles near the historically significant Akhnoor sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

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