Khar rejects reports of US ultimatum to Pak on Haqqani network

Khar rejects reports of US ultimatum to Pak on Haqqani network

"There are some misperceptions about the three-and-half hour meeting I had with Secretary Clinton...There were no ultimatums from either side," Khar told reporters in New York.

Pakistan has a "relationship of choice" with the US on the basis of mutual interests, she said. The Pakistan-US relationship is an important one and "no one is a hostage in it", said Khar, who is heading Pakistan's delegation to the UN General Assembly session.

She added: "Pakistan is in it (the relationship) by choice."

Unnamed US officials were quoted by the Western media as saying after Sunday's talks between Khar and Clinton that the issues of counter-terrorism and the Haqqani network were the thrust of the discussions.

However, Khar contended that her meeting with Clinton was not "uni-dimensional" or devoted to a single issue as it covered all issues of interest to Pakistan and the US.
"It was intense but very constructive," she said.

Both sides had candid discussions on a wide range of issues with a view to improving bilateral ties, she said. Both the US and Pakistan, Khar said, understand the need to cooperate and build a partnership.

Pakistan had made "big" sacrifices in combating terrorism as it had lost some 30,000 citizens and 5,000 security personnel in the war on terror, she said. "We need to be assisted, not recriminated. There should be no public recrimination. This must stop," she said.

Pakistan even paid a heavy price for arresting Al-Qaeda leader Younis al-Mauritani in Quetta recently as 30 people lost their lives in a revenge attack, Khar remarked.
Pakistan is committed to rooting out terrorism and is fulfilling its obligations in this regard, she said.

But Pakistan acts "in its own national interest (and) not at the behest of someone", she pointed out. Pakistan also wants peace and stability in Afghanistan and will support any Afghan-lead reconciliation process or whatever goal the Afghan people set for themselves, Khar said.

The stakes are very high in Afghanistan and Pakistan is aware that it will have to deal "with the baggage when the conflict was over", she said.