Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pakistani FM warns US against crossing any ‘red lines’


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign minister on Saturday warned the United States to not cross red lines on Afghan group issue.

The warning came as a top US military commander was in Pakistan for talks with the army chief at a time of intense strain between the two countries. The US Embassy said Gen. James Mattis, head of US Central Command, arrived in Pakistan late Friday, and that he will meet the army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

American officials stepped up accusations that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence was aiding insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan, including those who took part in an attack on the US Embassy last week in Kabul.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said in an interview Saturday that there are red lines and rules of engagement with America, which should not be broken.

She said by addressing to US, ”If many of your goals are not achieved, you do not make someone a scapegoat,”

The US allegations have seen a strong reaction from Pakistan.

Kayani, the Pakistani army chief, said on Friday that the charges were baseless and part of a public ”blame game” detrimental to peace in Afghanistan. 

Other Islamabad officials urged Washington to present evidence for such a serious allegation. Khar warned the United States is risking losing an ally in the war on terror.

The row began when Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday accused the ISI agency of supporting Haqqani insurgents in planning and executing last week’s 22-hour assault on the US Embassy and a truck bombing that wounded 77 American soldiers days earlier.

Kayani said the allegations were ”very unfortunate and not based on facts.”

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