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Pakistan refuses to bow down as US persists on ‘do more’

ISLAMABAD -UNS – Pakistan on Wednesday while making it clear to the United States that it would not bow down only for Washington s interests as the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again demanded Pakistan to do more.

Islamabad presented its stance in a comprehensive way in front of the US delegation after it again demanded Pakistan to do more.

The US delegation led by Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed matters pertaining to Pakistan-US relations and security situation of the region. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other officials werte also present in meeting.

Maters related to situation in Afghanistan and Afghan peace talks also came under discussion, while war on terror and Pakistan’s role were also discussed.

The US secretary of state also felicitated PM Imran Khan on assuming office and his party’s thumping victory in general elections.

He also acknowledged that Pakistan has rendered great sacrifices in the war on terrorism.

Aftre the meeting, Pompeo left for India where he will be joined by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to meet with their Indian counterparts on a range of key defense and trade issues.

Pompeo-FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi meeting

The US Secy of State accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and a four-member delegation held a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at Foreign Office and discussed bilateral, regional and international issues.

The foreign minister had underscored the need to reset Pakistan-US ties on the basis of mutual trust and respect, during the meeting. He said that safeguarding of national interests is the supreme priority of the government.

Earlier, Mike Pompeo and US military chief General Joseph Dunford landed at the Nur Khan Airbase and were received by higher officials of Foreign Office and authorities of US embassy.

Visit aimed at rapprochement with Pakistan

Talking to media prior to leaving for Islamabad in Washington, Mike Pompeo said his country wants improvement in relationship with Pakistan, adding that Pakistan and the United States will have to make joint efforts to deal with common challenges.

The visit comes a few days after the Pentagon canceled aid to Pakistan over record on militants. The US military said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.

The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies & deceit.”

But US officials had held out the possibility that Pakistan could win back that support if it changed its behavior.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in particular, had an opportunity to authorize $300 million in CSF funds through this summer – if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents. Mattis chose not to, a US official said.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said.

Faulkner said the Pentagon aimed to spend the $300 million on “other urgent priorities” if approved by Congress. He said another $500 million in CSF was stripped by Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, to bring the total withheld to $800 million.

The disclosure came ahead of an expected visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the top US military officer, General Joseph Dunford, to Islamabad. Mattis told reporters on Tuesday that combating militants would be a “primary part of the discussion.”

Experts on the Afghan conflict, America’s longest war, argue that militant safe havens in Pakistan have allowed Taliban-linked insurgents in Afghanistan a place to plot deadly strikes and regroup after ground offensives.

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