Pakistan is no longer dependent on the United States to meet its military and other requirements, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said.
“If one source dries up, we have no option but to go to another source. It may cost more, it may consume more resources, but we have to fight that war, and that’s what we emphasised to all the people that we met,” PM Abbasi told Arab News in his first interview since returning from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in September.
In his address to the UNGA last month, the premier reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace and security in the region, enunciated the country’s position on the Kashmir dispute with India and apprised the international community of success in pursuing its economic and development objective.
“Any sanctions or restraints… put on our systems only degrades our efforts to fight terror, and it affects the whole equation in this region,” the prime minister said and emphasised that the world should recognise Pakistan’s efforts in fighting the “world’s war” on terror. “We have major US weapons systems in our military, but we’ve also diversified. We have Chinese and European systems. Recently, for the first time we inducted Russian attack helicopters.”
Abbasi’s remarks came against the backdrop of simmering tensions between Islamabad and Washington. Pakistan is upset over Trump’s new roadmap for Afghanistan which, on the one hand, seeks a greater role for India in the region and, on the other hand, questions Pakistan’s credentials in the fight against terrorism.
In his policy speech on August 21, Trump had said Pakistan would have to change its approach of supporting and harbouring certain militant outfits. Pakistan has rejected the allegations and says it could not be made scapegoat for failures in Afghanistan.