Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Pakistan: Our stability helps world

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Pakistan is at risk of major instability (AP)

The Pakistani government has claimed stability and development in South Asia are important for the whole world in reply to comments made by the US on the need for reform in the troubled country.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said that Pakistan was at risk of major instability which threatens the US-led war effort in neighbouring Afghanistan and it should implement reforms and stop fomenting anti-American sentiment.

She spoke as tensions between the countries remained high over the killing of two Pakistanis by an American embassy worker.

The US says Raymond Davis was acting in self-defence against robbers and qualifies for diplomatic immunity. But Pakistani authorities have refused to release him since the January 27 shooting.

The Foreign Ministry statement replied to Mrs Clinton's concerns by saying that it is in the world's interest as well to ensure Pakistan remains stable, a reminder how closely tied the interests of the two countries are.

"It is Pakistan's considered view that stability, peace and development in the South Asian region is not only important for Pakistan but has global ramifications," it said. The sentiment is one that has been voiced previously but was particularly pointed as it was issued in response to Clinton's speech.

The ministry also called on the international community to support its attempts to work with neighbouring India and Afghanistan to promote stability and development.

The stand-off over Davis also appears to also be exposing rifts within the Pakistani government, which has been trying to navigate between intense US pressure to release Davis and domestic anger over the deaths.

The spokeswoman for the ruling party resigned on Saturday just days after stirring up controversy with comments that seemed to support US claims of Davis' immunity. Fauzia Wahab has said her comments were her personal opinion and not the position of the party.

Meanwhile, Pakistani security forces killed 14 militants in a Sunday-morning clash with insurgents in a tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said. Four government soldiers were wounded but none killed, said Maqsood Khan, a local administrator in Mohmand tribal area.

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