Pakistan open to joint Afghan border patrols, says PM

Pakistan open to joint Afghan border patrols, says PM

Pakistan open to joint Afghan border patrols, says PM

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the meeting of the cabinet in Islamabad.

Speaking to reporters today, Pakistani Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi said his country remains interested in joint operations with the USA to resolve disputes over the Afghan War.

Last month, President Donald Trump called on Pakistan to do more to eliminate militant sanctuaries, a longstanding US demand, as he announced a new strategy to try to win the 16-year war in Afghanistan.

Mr Abbasi however said he was unaware of any looming "punishments", adding Washington had not issued demands to Pakistan on the matter.

Abbasi told foreign reporters in Islamabad that Pakistan "has done more than its part" in addressing the terrorism issue as "no body wants peace in the region more than Pakistan", and emphasized that "we are very open to bilateral verification if any body says there are sanctuaries in Pakistan".

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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.

"We have not received any list of measures", he said. "All criminal elements we are fighting are based in Afghanistan", Abbasi claimed.

"Pakistan offered cooperation and Pakistan continues to offer cooperation against terrorism", said the prime minister. "We respect others' sovereignty and expect the same from others". North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops have also used Pakistani ports and roads to move equipment into land-locked Afghanistan.

When asked about U.S. plans to get tough on Pakistan and cutting billions of dollars worth of military and financial aid, the Prime Minister said: "We have nothing to hide, as a general rule you do not punish allies". Pakistan is rightly taking friendly countries' leadership into confidence in the wake of Trump statement.

Earlier in an interview with Reuters news agency, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stressed the need for Pakistan-US close cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

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