Pakistan today said that it wants peace in Afghanistan and pledged to work to eliminate terrorism, hours after US President Donald Trump’s stern warning to Islamabad over providing safe havens to terrorists. A Foreign Office spokesman said US Ambassador David Hale met Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif this afternoon and briefed him about President Trump’s latest statement on the US policy review on South Asia and Afghanistan. “The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s perspective and desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said the carefully worded statement from the Foreign Office. Highlighting Pakistan’s sacrifices in the enduring fight against terrorism, Foreign Minister Asif underlined Pakistan’s continued desire to work with the international community to eliminate the menace of terrorism. Trump, in his first prime-time televised address to announce his Afghanistan and South Asia policy, hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to “agents of chaos” that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has “much to lose” by harbouring terrorists. He also slammed Pakistan for its support to terror groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so.
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During his meeting, Asif said that he had accepted US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s invitation to visit the US and looked forward to his early interactions in Washington. Hale conveyed that Tillerson looked forward to meeting the foreign minister in the next few days to have an in-depth discussion on the state of play in the bilateral relationship as well as the new US policy on South Asia.