Regional consensus required to tackle Afghan issue: Asif

TEHRAN: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after holding a meeting with his counterpart Javad Zarif earlier on Monday.
According to state radio, the duo exchanged views on latest regional situation and different aspects of the bilateral relations in the backdrop of new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.
Earlier, Asif had emphasised that all regional countries will have to form consensus for joint efforts to settle the Afghan issue while talking to Iranian media after holding a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister.
He added that purpose behind Tehran tour is to reach consensus with the neighboring countries of Afghanistan on matters concerned with recently announced Afghan policy of the United States.
"Basically my main purpose of the visit to Iran is to evolve some consensus amongst the neighbors of Afghanistan, because peace in Afghanistan will have a comprehensive effect on the rest of the region," Asif said.
He opined that American army has failed to deal with Afghan issue, adding that the regional countries should come forward over the matter.
"No need to say that the approach taken by the Americans which is a military one, has not been able to bring peace to Afghanistan 16 years," he said. "It is very important for us, it is very important for the region that we evolve consensus over different problems."
Apparently slamming the US role in Afghanistan, Asif said he would go to Turkey tomorrow (Tuesday) and discuss the matter regarding regional consensus on Afghanistan. Earlier, the Foreign Minister had a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.
National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua were also present in the meeting. It merits to mention here that Pakistan's decision to approach regional countries come after US President Donald Trump's blistering accusations of habouring terrorists on Pakistani soil and prolonging Afghan insurgency while unveiling his new policy for the region.
Last week, Asif had postponed his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington. Pakistani government also delayed the visit of Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, to Islamabad. -NNI