Pakistan leaves a strong message for US ahead of high level visits

Pakistan leaves a strong message for US ahead of high level visits

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is no more reliant on the United States for military requirements and will reach out to others if one source [of military supplies] dries up, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbas said in an interview to Arab News Channel on Sunday.

"If one source dries up, we have no option but to go to another source. It may cost more, it may consume more resources, but we have to fight that war, and that’s what we emphasised to all the people that we met," said the PM. 

"We have major US weapons systems in our military, but we’ve also diversified. We have Chinese and European systems. Recently, for the first time we inducted Russian attack helicopters."

Reiterating his stance on Pakistan's fight against terrorism, Abbasi said that the world needs to recognise the country's efforts. "Any sanctions or restraints […] put on our systems only degrades our efforts to fight terror, and it affects the whole equation in this region," he was quoted as saying.

Speaking about his "unscheduled" meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he said that they were held on the request of the US administration and proved to be "very constructive".

Abbasi’s meeting with VP Pence was the highest contact between the two sides since Trump's new policy was announced on Aug 21. Pakistan had after the policy announcement postponed the then planned bilateral interactions.

"Whatever concerns they [the US] have, we’ve shown our willingness to address those concerns,” Abbasi said about his meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence.

"We can categorically state that we don’t provide any sanctuaries to anybody," he said, refuting repeated US allegations of terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan. "Today we have a common objective: to destroy terror and bring peace to Afghanistan."

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