US military says in 'continuous communication' with Pakistan

Frederick Owens
January 14, 2018

The Pakistani military in a statement said Gen. Votel apprised COAS about the USA decision regarding Security Assistance and Coalition Support Fund and said that U.S. values Pakistan's role towards war on terror and expected that on-going turbulence remains a temporary phase. After suspending military aid, United States has assured Pakistan that no unilateral action on its territory is being planned.

"Yes, we would talk", the former cricket star told a press briefing on January 13, referring to Trump, who has accused Pakistan of aiding insurgent groups operating in neighboring Afghanistan.

Chairman Imran Khan said on Saturday that meeting US President Donald Trump would be a "bitter pill" to swallow should he become the prime minister in elections later this year, but added, "I would meet him".

The Pakistani army said in a statement Friday that the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, said in a telephone conversation with Pakistan's chief of army staff that the "ongoing turbulence" in the countries' relationship was "a temporary phase". "Whether we would be able to communicate, I am not so sure, but of course we, countries, have to work with the United States".

Responding to the Trump's accusations against Islamabad, including "lies and deceit" and harbouring militants battling American troops in the war-torn country, Imran said: "You can not insult a country of 200 million people by blaming, scapegoating them for the disaster in Afghanistan".

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Trump accused Pakistan of doing nothing to assist in the USA -led war effort in neighboring Afghanistan and of failing to crack down on militants that attack US and Afghan forces across the border.

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.

Khan said Pakistan had nothing to do with the violence.

Islamabad maintains Washington is scapegoating the country for US failures in Afghanistan and dishonoring Pakistani sacrifices and contributions in the regional counterterrorism efforts.

Khan also raised eyebrows when he announced an electoral alliance with Maulana Sami-ul Haq, a firebrand Islamic cleric, whose hard-line Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary taught several of Afghanistan's senior Taliban leaders. US officials allege the lawlessness in the Pakistan border region is to be blamed for the Taliban resurgence, a charge that Pakistani officials deny.

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