Pakistan Not Your 'Hired Gun' Anymore: Imran Roared on Trump

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Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur border corridor, which will officially open next year, in Pakistan November 28, 2018.

Officially allies in fighting terrorism, Pakistan and the United States have a complicated relationship, bound by Washington's dependence on Pakistan to supply its troops in Afghanistan but plagued by accusations Islamabad is playing a double game.

Lt Gen Kenneth F. McKenzie, the next commander of the US Central Command, said this at a Congressional confirmation hearing.

Talking about the relations with the U.S., marred by distrust, he said "Who would not want to be friends with the USA?", while seeking improved relations with the world superpower.

"If we left precipitously right now, I do not believe they (Afghan security forces) would be able to successfully defend their country".

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Responding to questions, McKenzie refused to give a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. "That is how as much as we can we will facilitate", the spokesman explained when asked what Pakistan could do to nudge the insurgents to engage in peace negotiations.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan will no longer act as a hired gun in someone else's war, Prime Minister Imran Khan said today, striking a note of defiance against USA demands for Islamabad to do more in the battle against militancy. Pakistan was left with militant groups and 4 million Afghan refugees.

"There were a lot of people in Pakistan who opposed it, including me".

On being asked about accusations by the U.S. that Pakistan was "harbouring" Taliban leaders, Khan said: "I have never understood these accusations".

In response to a question about the premier's recent efforts to acquire financial assistance from Saudi Arabia, UAE and China, he said that details of the agreements will be kept confidential. We raised money, but we are talking to the IMF [International Monetary Fund].

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"Exxon has come back to Pakistan after 27 years, and they're doing a big exploration for us".

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Tuesday met Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad. "Pakistan has never made the structural changes that are needed. I would be on the opposite side of President Donald Trump in terms of economic policy, probably closer to Senator Bernie Sanders".

"As I said our goal here grounded in the objective realities is that there needs to be a settlement that comes from within the society so that it is broadly accepted by the society and therefore has a good chance of being implemented", he said.

In a separate meeting, the prime minister was briefed by federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and Water and Power Development Authority chairman retired lieutenant general Muzammil Hussain about water crisis and the measures being taken to overcome water shortage in the country. He said India "rebuffed all [his] overtures" because "the ruling party [the Bharatiya Janata Party] has an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach". In his first interview to foreign media, PM Khan had said that he has asked his government to find out the status of the case. He said he hopes that after the elections Pakistan can resume talks with India. I had gone on television and warned everyone that we will stand by the Supreme Court verdict. "This is in our own interest", said Stoltenberg.

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