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ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said Islamabad does not have any problem with the United States (US) developing a partnership with India if it is not at the cost of Pakistan.

During an exclusive interview with an international magazine, the defence minister said India is a very big market of over 1.3 billion people.

“Everywhere in the world, the other big economies will need to have them as partners. But Pakistan is not a very big economy, and [is] a vulnerable economy,” he added.

US says dialogue between India, Pakistan ‘a matter for those two countries’

“All we have is a geographical location, which is strategic, which attracts, I would say, not all the good things, it sometimes attracts some things which really make us even more vulnerable.”

The minister said he personally feels that some appreciation is required in Washington about their situation, and they should not be pushed into a situation where they have to make some very hard choices.

He maintained that Pakistan has common borders with China, Afghanistan, Iran and India, adding, “We would like to have good relationships with them.

“We would like to improve our relationships with them if the relationship is not good. We want to live in peace,” he added. The minister said that Pakistan gives great value to its ties with the US, adding, “We want that relationship to flourish.”

‘Hindu nationalist government’: Terming the incumbent government in New Delhi “Hindu nationalist,” Asif said the Indian outlook towards regional politics completely changed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into power.

“The secular ideology, which India pursued since 1947, since the subcontinent was divided and we became independent, that was abandoned because of Modi’s politics.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 18, 2023 11:16am
What's wrong if India moves away from being secular to Hindu State? I'm just wondering. Unlike Pakistan, they have free fair elections and Modi was overwhelmingly voted in. On the other hand, we were made "Islamic" (against what Quaid desired) by a non-elected Junta!
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Naeem Jun 19, 2023 01:44am
India always make a noise abt Pak relationship with other countries why our country says we hav no issue….
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