Khar rejects reports of US ultimatum to Pak on Haqqani network

Hina Rabbani Khar
Islamabad, Sept 20: Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has rejected the impression that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had given her an ultimatum to attack the Haqqani network, blamed for a recent attack on the US Embassy in Kabul.

"There are some misperceptions about the three-and-half hour meeting I had with Secretary Clinton...There were no ultimatums from either side," Khar told reporters in New York.

Pakistan has a "relationship of choice" with the US on the basis of mutual interests, she said.

The Pakistan-US relationship is an important one and "no one is a hostage in it", said Khar, who is heading Pakistan's delegation to the UN General Assembly session.

She added: "Pakistan is in it (the relationship) by choice." Unnamed US officials were quoted by the Western media as saying after Sunday's talks between Khar and Clinton that the issues of counter-terrorism and the Haqqani network were the thrust of the discussions.

However, Khar contended that her meeting with Clinton was not "uni-dimensional" or devoted to a single issue as it covered all issues of interest to Pakistan and the US.

"It was intense but very constructive," she said.

Both sides had candid discussions on a wide range of issues with a view to improving bilateral ties, she said. Both the US and Pakistan, Khar said, understand the need to cooperate and build a partnership.

Pakistan had made "big" sacrifices in combating terrorism as it had lost some 30,000 citizens and 5,000 security personnel in the war on terror, she said.

"We need to be assisted, not recriminated. There should be no public recrimination. This must stop," she said.


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