Khar ‘completely’ denies aiding anti-India militants

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has “completely denied” that Islamabad does not fight militants who use Pakistan as a base to attack Afghans or Americans or Westerners or Indians.

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“I would completely deny that. I think we’ve had joint cooperation,” she said in an interview to “CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS” denying retired US military joint chief Mike Mullen’s charges that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has links with the Haqqani network, most deadly of the militant groups in Pakistan.

“I think we have had joint cooperation which goes back as recent as, you know, two weeks back when al Mauritani, who was number three supposedly in Al Qaeda was arrested in a joint intelligence cooperation-assisted arrest,” she said.

“Now within that the recrimination on Pakistan is something that we have serious reservations about,” she said. “We need to engage more, rather than disengage. Public recrimination of an ally is not the answer… should not be the answer.”

Asked if the Pakistani government would launch an offensive in North Waziristan against the Haqqani faction, Khar said that “it takes two to tango”.

“There are many things that the US would have to do… And it is not, by the way. Let me just assure you, it is not ‘please do this for us and then we will do this’. As I said, I think this relationship is over-defined by aid syndrome.”

Reacting to the argument that Pakistan has created a Frankenstein’s monster by supporting militant groups, many of whom have turned on Pakistan, Khar said: “First of all, this Frankenstein was not created by Pakistan.

“This Frankenstein was financed and assisted by many world powers, including… the US. So we are left behind to sort out the mess as (if) the affair is of Pakistanis….”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])