Making Pakistan scapegoat will not stabilise Afghanistan: Pakistan

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Amid strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday decided not to visit the US and said that making Pakistan scapegoat will not help resolve Afghanistan issue. Citing unnamed sources, Geo News reported that the minister's tour stood cancelled. Asif was scheduled to meet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington. Relations between Pakistan and the US worsened after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of providing safe havens to militants that US was fighting in Afghanistan. Geo said that although the minister was advised to visit the US, the trip was not okyed by the government. "After detailed review of the situation it has been decided that the minister would not undertake the visit," Geo quoted the sources as saying. Asif, while rejecting Trump's allegations, said making Pakistan "scapegoat would not stabilise Afghanistan". He said efforts were being made to destabilise Pakistan on both its eastern and western borders. The minister said Pakistan suffered a loss of $120 billion in the war against terrorism. Pakistan has supported international efforts for peaceful Afghanistan, he said, adding that refugees, drugs and arms made their way into Pakistan due to the conflict in Afghanistan.  "Pakistan would continue to support international efforts to stabilise Afghanistan," Asif said.  

IANS