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US Defence Secretary James Mattis and Pak Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua say communications are continuing

The ties between US and Pakistan have been moving apart with each passing day. Donald Trump’s new Asia policy leading to cut Washington’s security assistance and giving more importance to India in the region has provoked Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who claimed on Friday, that his country does not have an alliance with the United States.

While responding to Wall Street Journal’s question on Washington’s decision to suspend its entire security assistance to Pakistan Asif said, “We do not have any alliance. This is not how allies behave.”

The announcement of the suspension of security assistance was made by State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, last week, who was quoted saying that the suspension would remain in effect until Pakistan “takes decisive action” against groups such as the Taliban that are “destabilising the region and targeting US personnel”.

Khwja Asif further said that Pakistan had made a “huge mistake” by joining US campaign in Afghanistan in 2001 after 9/11 terror attack. In his opinion it had endangered terrorist backlash against his country. Later US turned Pakistan into a “whipping boy” for its failures in Afghanistan, he said.

While speaking about Pakistan’s anti-terror campaign Asif said that Islamabad would not allow the Afghan war to be fought on its soil. “We have relative calm in Pakistan at the moment. But if we go against these people [Afghan insurgents], then the war will again be fought on our soil, which will suit the Americans.”

Under the new Trump policy Pakistan should “do more” to destroy terror groups. US President has recently accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit”.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said on Friday that despite the tension Pentagon was maintaining its communication with Pakistani military establishment, including the Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

While briefing media persons at Pentagon, James Mattis said, “I think, yesterday Gen Joseph Votel was on the phone with Gen Bajwa, the chief of the army staff. And we’ll continue to coordinate this,”

Similarly, Pakistan’s Foreign Se­cre­tary Tehmina Janjua has said that Pakistan will continue to engage with Washington as far as possible, because America is not only a global power but also has a regional presence, and “for us it’s almost our neighbour”.

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