Trump’s South Asia Policy: Russia also defends Pakistan

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Russia -Paksitan Military exercises

By Muhammad Luqman
After China’s strong message defending Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan and asking the global community to acknowledge its sacrifices in war against terrorism, Russia has echoed similar sentiments following US President Donald Trump’s allegations that Pakistan was offering safe haven to terrorists.
According to media reports, Russian Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov criticized Trump’s Pakistan strategy and insisted that Islamabad is “a key regional player to negotiate with.”
“Putting pressure [on Pakistan] may seriously destabilise the region-wide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan,” the presidential envoy to Kabul told Russia’s ‘Afghanistan’ daily.
Earlier in a phone call to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi urged the US to value Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan.
“We must value Pakistan’s important role on the Afghanistan issue, and respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and reasonable security concerns,” the diplomat said.
Trump, in his first address to the nation as commander-in-chief on Monday, accused Pakistan of ‘harbouring militants’.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” he said, warning that vital aid could be cut. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”

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