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US-Pakistan make first contact post-Trump’s tweet

US-Pakistan make first contact post-Trump’s tweet
Pakistan says it will continue counter-terror efforts even without US aid


By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan army said Friday Washington has assured Islamabad it will refrain from any unilateral action and is seeking cooperation in tackling militant groups in the country.

The assurance was given by Commander of U.S Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph L. Votel during a telephone conversation with Pakistani army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, according to a statement by Pakistan army’s media-wing, the Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR).

Separately, Bajwa received a phone call from a U.S. senator earlier this week to discuss Pakistan-U.S. security cooperation, the statement said without naming the senator.

The recent contacts are seen as an attempt to thaw relations between the two allies, after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of providing sanctuaries to the Afghan Taliban, particularly the powerful Haqqani network.

The controversial tweet was followed by suspension of a $255 million military aid to Pakistan.

Pakistan denied the U.S allegations.

Votel, according to the statement, said that the U.S values Pakistan’s role toward the war against terrorism.

“He also conveyed that the U.S is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan but is seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals who, in U.S. view, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan,” it said.

Pakistan’s army chief reiterated that the recent U.S. move had downplayed the country’s counter-terror efforts.

“Pakistan shall continue its sincere counter terrorism efforts even without US financial support in accordance with our national interest,” said Bajwa.

source: News Feed
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