U.S. military says in 'continuous communication' with Pakistan

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U.S. military says in 'continuous communication' with Pakistan

After days of testy exchanges between Washington and Islamabad, the US Central Command (Centcom) chief has ruled out unilateral action against terrorists on Pakistan's soil.

Several U.S. officials have held talks with senior Pakistani civilian and military leaders to find what one called "common ground" after President Trump rebuked Pakistan in a series of tweets and then said the U.S. would no longer provide aid to Islamabad.

Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said the return of the refugees is prerequisite in a bid to help the Pakistani forces deny safe havens to the Afghan militants.

The statement added that Bajwa told Votel that "the entire Pakistani nation" felt betrayed by the recent US statements despite decades of cooperation.

Last week, the State Department announced suspending almost all security assistance to Pakistan for its failure to crack down on terrorist groups blamed for attacking U.S. and Afghan forces.

"Even the USA ambassador", who was summoned for a meeting at Pakistan's Foreign Ministry after Trump's New Year's Day tweets, "didn't have an explanation for the tweet for the first couple of days", the official said. COAS said that Pakistan shall continue its honest counter terrorism efforts even without United States financial support in accordance with our national interest and shall remain committed to bring it to its logical conclusion along with other stake holders. Votel also told Bajwa the "U.S.is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan", it continued. It also ignited speculation that the US could resume drone strikes or launch operations along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, where militant groups once operated with impunity. COAS further said that Pakistan will keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan despite the tendency to scapegoat Pakistan, as peace in Afghanistan is the only way to move towards enduring peace and stability in the region.

The ISPR 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.

After U.S. President's accusation Pakistan's army chief told a top U.S. general the nation "felt betrayed" by criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, the Pakistani military said on Friday, after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of "lies and deceit". "We value mutual understanding of interests and concerns that we need to consider that might lead to a positive path forward", Thomas told AFP. The committee at the time said that the US was scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure to bring peace to Afghanistan after 16 years of war.

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