Pentagon maintaining close ties to Pakistan, despite harsh White House sanctions

14 January, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Pakistani traders protest in Peshawar after President Trump’s decision to halt up to $1 billion of military aid

A security aid of $2billion to Pakistan was suspended by Trump's administration last week over these accusations.

Should he become Pakistan's prime minister, Khan said "yes we would talk", referring to Trump, but added that the USA dishonors the memory of thousands of Pakistan's soldiers who died battling insurgents in its tribal regions, as well as that of tens of thousands of Pakistanis who died in terrorist attacks.

The spokesman said that during the conversation with Votel, General Bajwa noted Pakistan was fully aware of USA concerns about the activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and that steps were being taken to counter them.

According to Dawn, this was conveyed to Islamabad by Centcom Commander Gen Joseph Votel in a telephonic conversation to Pakistan's army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa last week.

For his part Bajwa told Votel that the "entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed" over the USA statements, but insisted Pakistan would continue to support peace efforts in the region despite being made a "scapegoat".

Votel also told Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa that the USA was "not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan", but is seeking its cooperation to capture militants based on Pakistani soil who carry out attacks in Afghanistan, the Pakistani statement said.




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.

Famed cricketer turned politician Imran Khan said Saturday that meeting U.S. President Donald Trump would be a "bitter pill" to swallow should he become Pakistan's prime minister in elections later this year, but added "I would meet him".

A Central Command spokesman confirmed Votel's contact with Bajwa. These included that "the problems in ties were temporary, there would be no unilateral action against Pakistan and that the U.S. did not want a disruption in ties rather it wanted cooperation from Islamabad on areas of its concern".

USA military leaders are continuing to maintain close with their counterparts in despite the White House's latest round of harsh economic sanctions against the South Asian nation.

Pakistan initially feared that Trump would launch a strike in Pakistan - similar to the 2011 raid to capture Osama bin Laden outside Islamabad - and put its forces on alert the day the aid suspension was announced. So far, Pakistan has not done so.

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