US told any headway on Afghan impossible without Pakistan: Qureshi

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WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said “we have succeeded in reminding  US that any headway on the matter of Afghanistan is next to impossible without Pakistan.

He said this while addressing a press conference here before leaving for Pakistan. Qureshi said that Pakistan was being criticized since one year , however, positive vibes are coming from US authorities. Before us Pakistan had no access to US higher authorities.

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefing Pakistani media persons towards the end of his official visit to the US at the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC.

He held “ I think headway has been made. If we see the statements given by US last year, there was nothing therein than pointing fingers and spate upon spate of criticism. This time such things were seen far less.

He went on to say earlier no one else than US Deputy secretary of state for  South and Central Asian affairs Alice Wells  met us. But now within short span of time US secretary of state Mike Pompeo visited Pakistan.  He met Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and  both the civil and military leadership of the country were present in the meeting.  A correct and categorical  message was received by Pompeo   that our civil  and military leadership are on one page with complete harmony and they together  are determined to safeguard national interests . This sent a positive message.

Citing to peace in Afghanistan he said “I have succeeded in convincing US during these few days any headway in this respect stands ruled out without Pakistan and friendly environment is needed to seek any headway from Pakistan. The pressures and finger pointing lead to plague problems and atmosphere than to bring any improvement therein.

It was agreed during meeting with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo that now time has  come that Afghan Taliban should capitalize on opportunity to sort out the issue, he said adding “ we don’t want our relations should be seen through Afghanistan eye because we have a 70 years history where ups and downs have come. But we have to move forward. If there are misperceptions then these have to be allayed. In the perspective of expectations of both side some time we met disappointment and some time they were disappointed.  Indifference will not set right the things and taking along Pakistan will serve this purpose only.

To a question about Dr Shakil  Afridi who  allegedly helped US in arresting former chief of Alqaeda Osama bin Laden, he said US has since long demanded about Shakil Afridi, however, when US wants that we should respect its laws then they too will have to respect our laws. If Dr Shakil Afridi is discussed then Dr Aafia Siddiqui is also discussed there. People of Pakistan expect that she should be brought to home respectably.