Ahsan-Iqbal say US unilateral operations in Pak ‘red-line’ in bilateral ties

WASHINGTON (Monitoring desk): Ahsan-Iqbal Interior Minister Pakistan said in an interview to CNN on Tuesday that unilateral operations of United States in Pakistan would mean a “red-line” for bilateral ties between the countries.

Ahsan-Iqbal restated that Pakistani people “are dignified” and that the country anticipates friendship with the US “based on mutual trust and respect”.

“Any effort to try to bully […] or coerce Pakistan will be counterproductive,” the minister emphasized, adding that intimidating, threatening or forcing Islamabad would be a detrimental move on the part of the US.

Ahsan-Iqbal affirmed that Pakistan is not looking up for financial assistance but is ambitious for trade and developmental cooperation. The monetary aid offered by the US was of no remarkable nature.

Ahsan-Iqbal also clearly warned against any attack or conspiracy against the interest of Pakistan, saying such an act would be seriously dealt with.

He further stated that Islamabad is more than willing to work for peace in collaboration with global fraternity and desires ties with the US on a footing of mutual respect.

The interior miniter reiterated that peace issues in Afghanistan are wanting more than armed operations and so should be tackled politically. He said that the US keeps putting the blame of its failure in Afghanistan on Pakistan.

“To have the final outcome in Afghanistan, to have peace and stability, we need to follow a comprehensive approach,” he said.

“We need to have [a] military option but also a political option … Both Afghanistan and Pakistan’s legitimate security concerns and interests must be incorporated in the approach that we follow in that region (South Asia).”

It is crucial for both Pakistan and US to work mutually for peace in Afghanistan, Iqbal asserted, but Washington needs to alter its attitude over South Asia, particularly Afghanistan.

“Any unilateral action in Pakistan would be a red line for Pakistan … We want to have [a] friendship which is based on mutual trust and respect.”

Pakistan has suffered and sacrificed greatly due to war against terrorism with the loss of over 60,000 lives since the past few years and a cost of more than $25 billion on its economy.

Nevertheless Pakistan kept on fighting terrorism and will continue to do so, for the security and protection of Pakistanis and not for the US or its financial aid.