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Pakistan PM Abbasi says military has routed Taliban from Afghan border

News Agencies | Updated on: 21 September 2017, 12:46 IST

The newly-appointed prime minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has insisted that the Pakistani military force" Pakistani military forces had uprooted all the sanctuaries used by the Islamic extremists, along its rugged frontier with Afghanistan."

"We have regained control of the area," Abbasi, said in an interview with The New York Times.

"There are no sanctuaries anymore. There are none at all. I can categorically state that," he added.

"We do not have tactical nuclear weapons. We have short-range nuclear weapons, which, are not designed for battlefield use," he further said, adding, they were under the same command and control safeguards as the rest of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

Abbasi also said the United States did not appreciate the inroads made by Pakistani soldiers against safe havens used by the Pakistani Taliban.

"The general perception in Pakistan was that our efforts were unappreciated, and today, we are being scapegoated. We are active partners in the war on terror. No less than that," he asserted.

The prime minister's blanket denial of Pakistan's role as a safe haven comes in the wake of United States President Donald Trump's new strategy for Afghanistan, which has been taken positively by the global community.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, in a separate interview with The Times, had earlier said, "It provides a new context for Pakistan to seize the opportunity for engagement. If the Pakistanis doesn't do more, there will be consequences."

Abbasi became prime minister in August as a fallback choice after his predecessor, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified following charges slapped against him in connection with the Panama Papers leak case. 


First published: 21 September 2017, 12:46 IST