New Pak foreign minister blames India for worsening ties

Addressing his maiden press conference since taking charge, Khawaja Asif warned that Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be construed as its weakness.

world Updated: Aug 07, 2017 22:02 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan foreign minister,Khawaja Asif,PML-N
Pakistan's newly appointed foreign minister Khawaja Asif at Parliament House in Islamabad on August 1.(AFP)

Pakistan's newly appointed foreign minister has said India was not responding positively to improve ties despite various overtures from Islamabad, and alleged New Delhi was conspiring with Washington to sabotage the Indus Water Treaty.

“Pakistan has always wanted to have good relations with its neighbours, especially India and Afghanistan, but both countries were not giving any positive response to Pakistan’s initiatives for durable peace in the region,” Khawaja Muhammad Asif told reporters at the PML-N House in Islamabad in his maiden press conference after taking charge.

He warned that Pakistan’s desire for peace and good relations with neighbours should not be construed as its weakness.

India was also supporting the conspiracies being hatched by Afghanistan against Pakistan in a bid to destabilise this country economically and politically, he alleged.

“It’s high time for both India and Afghanistan to come forward as good neighbours and give a positive response to Pakistan’s peace initiatives and end the blame game,” he added.

The minister alleged that India and the United States were involved in “an international conspiracy to sabotage the Indus Water Treaty”, posing great danger to South Asia.

Pakistan had never been taken into confidence by the international community on all the clauses of the treaty, he claimed.

Asif said Pakistan had effectively taken up the stoppage of water by India into Pakistan with the World Bank which had been playing its role as a guarantor in the Indus Water Treaty. He said Pakistan wanted an amicable solution to the problem and was making sincere international efforts to resolve this issue.

The issue of construction of the controversial Kishanganga dam had almost been resolved by Pakistan and India about one-and-a-half years ago, but progress on it was halted due to suspension of further talks by India thrice afterwards, he said.

The foreign minister also blamed India for continuously violating the ceasefire accord by shelling the civilian population along the Line of Control.

First Published: Aug 07, 2017 15:07 IST