Pakistan to issue official response on Trump's Afghan policy

South Asia India Pakistan America Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Donald Trump Qamar Javed Bajwa ACM Sohail Aman Muhammad Zakaullah

South Asia India Pakistan America Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Donald Trump Qamar Javed Bajwa ACM Sohail Aman Muhammad Zakaullah

"In the worst case", he said, the Pakistani government has been guilty of "active direct support" for terrorist groups, the media outlet reported.

He said the president had benefited from an outsider's perspective on the US-Pakistan relationship, eschewing the conventional wisdom that "however much the Pakistanis double-deal you and lie to you and don't cooperate, you have no choice but to just keep the status quo".

Such a veiled and meek reference to the issues that divide the two neighbours cannot persuade India to resume talks with Pakistan nor can it convince New Delhi to do some soul-searching, as Mr Tillerson suggested.

The secretary said the United States had launched a global effort to deal with North Korea and wanted to use the same approach with Pakistan.

"We have some leverage in terms of aid, their status as a non-NATO alliance partner - all of that can be put on the table", he further said.

However, U.S. officials and analysts have long accused Pakistan of playing a double-game with Islamic extremists - supporting those that threaten its rivals in India and Afghanistan while cracking down on those who target its own citizens.

The US president unleashed blistering criticism of Pakistan this week as he unveiled his new Afghanistan policy which paves the way for the indefinite deployment of more troops to the war-weary country.

"We feel the American administration led by Mr Trump has been totally one sided, unfair to Pakistan and does not appreciate and recognise Pakistan has been a pivotal player", Senator Mushahid Hussain, chairman of the senate defence committee, told Reuters on Thursday.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has given an overview on the new South Asia strategy of the Trump Administration to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi after they spoke over phone.

This year, the United States has already withheld $350 million in military funding over concerns Pakistan is not doing enough to fight terror, but the alliance itself was not in question. "To scapegoat Pakistan will not help in stabilizing Afghanistan". "Our daily nightmare is street robbers... we are least bothered by what America is saying", said Momin Khan, a 42-year-old grocery shop owner, adding: "Trump is a liar and he is anti-Muslim".

The top USA diplomat claimed that if Pakistan continued "to allow Taliban and other such organisations to grow and maintain their presence inside the country", they would become a threat to "their stability and the survival of their government in the years ahead".

In its statement, Pakistan defended its role in the lengthy war and said it has worked to promote peace in Afghanistan.

Asif said Pakistan had suffered great losses from Islamist militancy - the government estimates there have been 70,000 casualties in militant attacks, including 17,000 Pakistanis killed - since Pakistan joined the U.S.

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