Sartaj Aziz tells US not to be reason for disparity in region


KARACHI: Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has on Saturday told United States (US) not to be a reason for disparity in the region. He said that national interest and security will never be compromised.


In an interview to British channel, Sartaj Aziz said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is visiting the US next week and will discuss the relations with India, opportunities for investment and trade in Pakistan and peace in Afghanistan with the US officials.

He said that India may have any kind of relations with the US but in a situation when the relations between India and Pakistan are quite tense, the US should abstain from fueling the strategic and traditional imbalance in the region to a point where it becomes a threat to regional security.

Responding to a question over US’s role in Pak-India relations, Sartaj Aziz said that all the countries in the world, including the US, want both the countries to resolve their issues through talks but it is a basic prerequisite for the talks that the imbalance in the region doesn’t rise.

After the rejection of any chances of an immediate civil-nuclear deal with Pakistan by the US officials and their renewed interest in the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets just ahead of PM’s US visit, Sartaj Aziz said that the issue is under discussion for a long time and the international community is quite satisfied with the security of Pakistan’s nuclear assets.

He said that Pakistan’s top priority is its national interest and national security. “No compromise in this regard can be expected”, said Aziz.

“As far as inclusion of Pakistan in the mainstream global nuclear club is concerned, we are already working on it”, said Aziz. He expressed hope that Pakistan and India would both be made members of the nuclear suppliers’ group together.

Talking about elongated stay of the US forces in Afghanistan, Aziz said that Pakistan would welcome any action aimed at bringing stability to Afghanistan. He said that the US president has hinted at his readiness to discuss peace in Afghanistan but the decision making power in this regard lies with the Afghan government.

“If Afghan government would want Pakistan to be part of the peace process, Pakistan will be glad to extend cooperation”, he said.

Aziz added that Pakistan has already rejected the allegation of Pakistani intelligence officials’ involvement in Kandooz attack and such allegations may affect the talks with the US officials.