"Pakistan is forced to keep army at the western borders because of Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other such non-state actors", Mr. Asif said, "we are forced to do so because there is a strategic threat that exists there, our deployment is neither against Afghanistan nor Iran".
He stated this while addressing at the US Institute of Peace in Washington Thursday.
He stressed that Pakistan and the United States share a common desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large.
He said Pakistan has eliminated militants' stronghold and there was not "organised bases of any terrorist organisation in the country".
"Ensuring security in Afghanistan is critical for the [South Asian] region", he remarked, adding "we will be the biggest beneficiary of peace in Afghanistan". "This is more than half of our life as an independent country".
As a result, Tillerson framed US-Pakistan ties in the regional context rather than giving it any bilateral lift. Pakistan wishes to build partnership for a secure and prosperous future and to defeat the forces of disarray. The statement also said Asif "urged the United States to take note of the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian security forces in Occupied Kashmir, " while maintaining the familiar Pakistani position that "peace in South Asia would remain out of reach until the resolution of all longstanding disputes, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir". "Kashmiris have faced all forms and manifestations of state-sponsored terrorism".
Asif, who is in the U.S. to rebuild bilateral ties frayed after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of sheltering terror groups, said his meetings with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H R McMaster were good. "We have seen the government of Pakistan come down on terrorism, while ISI appears to run its own foreign policy", Mattis had said, acknowledging for the first time in public domain that ISI runs its own policy and does not seem to be controlled by the federal government. He said that even if one were to concede that Pakistan is supporting the Taliban and giving it shelter, there were several more serious issues - internal to Afghanistan - that make its route to stability hard.
"I can not be more diplomatic", he said, adding that "relationship with India is at its lowest ebb at the moment".