Pakistan, US must work together to defeat terrorism, says Aizaz

Pakistan, US must work together to defeat terrorism, says Aizaz

According to the USA officials, Washington has conveyed to Islamabad specific and concrete steps that it could take to get security aid.

"They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".

Of course, Pakistan might ultimately be bluffing, but its best bet is nevertheless to play the Afghan card in one capacity or another as an asymmetrical response to the US. Bajwa assured Votel that Pakistan would continue to follow through with its counter-terrorism plans without United States financial support, according to AP. In response, the Pakistani Foreign Minister stated that his country was no longer in an alliance with the U.S. and said that its partner was treating it as a "whipping boy" for its failure in Afghanistan, powerfully remarking that America is "a friend who always betrays".

Aizaz said the message by the USA leadership has not gone well with Pakistan and its people and President Trump's tweet was rather a surprise for all.

The Pakistani statement on Friday did not directly refer to Trump's tweet.

The phone call comes on the heels of a tweet sent out by President Trump earlier this month, criticizing his country's long-standing policy of sending security aid to Pakistan.

"We value mutual understanding of interests and concerns that we need to consider and might lead to a positive path forward", US Central Command spokesman Air Force Col. John Thomas said.

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Ghafoor said Votel reiterated Washington's concerns, saying they are undermining Pakistan's counterterrorism contributions.

The official also cautioned that USA action to pressure Pakistan could extend beyond the new freeze in aid, if necessary. But a Pakistani official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the government had breathed "a sigh of relief" as their US counterparts played down Trump's comments.

In 2016, a USA drone killed the then-leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, prompting protests from Islamabad of a violation of sovereignty.

Since Trump took office, there have been several drone strikes in Pakistan's border region but they have not so far gone deeper into Pakistani territory, though Islamabad believes that is on a menu of punitive actions the U.S. administration is considering.

Such a move, however, is likely to provoke Islamabad to block air and ground routes that US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops depend on to conduct counterterrorism operations and transport vital military supplies to landlocked Afghanistan.

The US is developing risk communication plans to access landlocked, which is now dependent on Pakistan, a official has said.The decision comes after relationship between the US and Pakistan nosedived as a result of administration's decision to suspend approximately $2 billion in security assistance as was not willing to take decisive actions against terror groups operating from its territory. So far, Pakistan has not done so.

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