Thursday, September 21st, 2017
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Pakistan has not received specific requests from the US to target alleged militant sanctuaries, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Tuesday, as he vowed to tighten security along the border with Afghanistan. The premier's remarks come weeks after President Donald Trump lambasted Pakistan during a speech outlining US policy on Afghanistan, accusing Islamabad of hosting safe havens for insurgents who cross the border to attack Afghan and Nato forces.

During a press conference Abbasi denied the accusations that Pakistan supported militants groups as he batted away suggestions that Trump's comments would upend relations between the Cold War allies.

"We don't think the Pakistani-US relationship will be defined by Afghanistan," the prime minister told reporters in Islamabad. "This relationship (is) 70 years old (and) cannot be redefined by one issue or it should not be redefined by one issue." Abbasi however said he was unaware of any looming punishments, adding Washington had not issued demands to Pakistan on the matter.

"We have not received any list of measures," said Abbasi. "We are open (with the US). We are transparent. We have nothing to hide." He added that Pakistan was willing to kick start a raft of measures to increase security along the border with Afghanistan and improve its rocky relationship with its neighbour. "We are open to bilateral verification, we're open to joint patrols," said Abbasi. "We will put up a fence there, the Afghans are welcome to put up another fence on their side."



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