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Pakistan Goes Into Damage Control Mode After Minister's 'No Alliance With US' Remark

The Pakistan Foreign Office has clarified that the two sides are still talking with each other to discuss various issues of mutual interest at different levels.

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Updated:January 12, 2018, 9:35 AM IST
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Pakistan Goes Into Damage Control Mode After Minister's 'No Alliance With US' Remark
File photo: A state Department contractor adjusts a Pakistan national flag before US-Pakistan meeting. (Reuters)
New Delhi: Days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that the United States and Pakistan have “no alliance”, the country’s Foreign Office clarified that the two countries continue to communicate on various issues.

At a briefing on Thursday, spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that the two sides are still talking with each other to discuss various issues of mutual interest at different levels. He did not give out more details about the nature of this communication.

Faisal also clarified on Khwaja Asif’s comments that the two nations were not allies.

“The foreign minister was expressing his frustration at the unwarranted US accusations against Pakistan and the unilateral decision to suspend the security assistance, despite Pakistan’s extraordinary sacrifices and contribution in the war against terrorism,” The Dawn quoted Faisal as saying.

He further said that despite provocative statements made by the US, Pakistan had only made measured ones keeping in mind the impact the relations have on the region’s stability.

The US has suspended $2 billion military assistance to Pakistan after President Donald Trump tweeted that Pakistan had given nothing other than “lies and deceit”. But soon after that, defence secretary James Mattis said that the US Central Command was talking to Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa.

The US on Wednesday voiced its hopes that Pakistan would demonstrate its willingness to aggressively confront terror groups that operate on its soil, amid reports that Islamabad has suspended intelligence cooperation with America after the Trump administration froze military aid to it.

Pakistan's decision to suspend military and intelligence cooperation with America came after President Donald Trump’s accusations against Islamabad, the Pakistani media quoted Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan as saying on Thursday.

Speaking at a seminar titled 'Contours of Security Environment of Pakistan', Khan said the US was using Pakistan as a "scapegoat" for its failures in war-torn Afghanistan.

"Pakistan does not want to put a price on its sacrifices but wants them to be recognised," he was quoted as saying by The Dawn.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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