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    US responsible if Pakistan fails in terror war: Khar

    ISLAMABAD (PAN): Pakistan, angrily criticising US moves to freeze $700 million in aid, on Thursday warned the Americans would be responsible if Pakistan failed in the war against terrorism.

    The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a legislation freezing the aid to Pakistan, with some Congressmen calling for stoppage of all kinds of aids to Pakistan.

    The US would be responsible if Pakistan failed in the war on terrorism or if there were problems, foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the parliamentary panel on National Security, which met in the capital to review Pakistan-US ties.  

    "Pakistan does not largely depend on foreign aid and there are other countries supporting us," Khar said

    However, the US Embassy in Islamabad rejected that the US had frozen the aid, saying some conditions had been attached to it.

    Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit told a press conference in Islamabad that the US must emphasis on its operations in Afghanistan, rather than carrying out attacks inside Pakistan.   

    He said Pakistan must not be blamed for weaknesses and loopholes by the US and NATO on the other side of the border.

    The US moves to freeze the $700 million aid to Pakistan is the latest sign of the fraying alliance that has been in deep crisis since NATO killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in Mohmand tribal region on November 26.

    “We believe that the move in the US Congress is not based on facts and takes narrow vision of overall situation hence wrong conclusions are unavoidable,” Basit told reporters.

    The bill would freeze the aid, pending assurances that Islamabad has taken steps to thwart militants who use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against US-led forces in Afghanistan.

    “If this legislation becomes law, we’ll work with the government of Pakistan on how we can fulfill the requirements. But, this requires us to maintain a strategic perspective,” US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

    After the Mohmand attack, Pakistan shut down the vital US supply line into neighbouring Afghanistan and ordered US personnel to leave the Shamsi air base in Balochistan province.

    Pakistan has said it was reviewing terms of engagements with the United States and NATO.

    “I think the real question has to be what has been done on the Afghan side of the border,” Basit said.

    mas/ma



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