Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has told top USA generals that the entire Pakistani nation "felt betrayed" at criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, a statement released by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Friday.
"Pakistan is fully aware of USA concerns on activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and we are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation Raddul Fasaad to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan refugees is an essential prerequisite", Gen Bajwa was quoted as having told Gen Votel.
According to the ISPR, General Votel apprised the army chief about the U.S. decision regarding the USA security assistance and the coalition support fund.
U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel telephoned General Qamar Javed Bajwa this week and offered the assurance, said army spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor, while releasing details of the conversation.More news: Durbin: Trump said 'shithole' repeatedly, comments were 'vile, racist'
Gen. Votel conveyed Bajwa three concrete messages: The problems in relations were temporary; there would be no unilateral action against Pakistan and the USA did not want a disruption in ties.
"Even the US 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.
Trump's administration last week announced the suspension of about Dollars 2 billion in security aid to nuclear-armed Pakistan - officially a United States ally - over accusations that Islamabad is playing a double game in Afghanistan.
For his part Bajwa told Votel that the "entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed" over the US statements, but insisted Pakistan would continue to support peace efforts in the region despite being made a "scapegoat".More news: Dancing on Ice commentator QUITS skating show after just one episode
Gen Bajwa, according to the ISPR statement, told the Centcom chief that Pakistan would press on with counterterrorism operations without financial support from the Trump administration.
The army chief told the U.S. officials that Pakistan was fully aware of their concerns on the activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and "we are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation Raddul Fasaad to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan Refugees is an essential prerequisite". "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 army chief was quoted as saying.
The US military's Central Command did not comment on the content of their conversation. "We value mutual understanding of interests and concerns that we need to consider and might lead to a positive path forward", Thomas said.
Islamabad denies USA allegations of harboring insurgent bases and cites its "unprecedented" gains against terrorist groups on Pakistan soil, resulting in improved national security.More news: The Bottom Line on Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST), Square, Inc. (SQ)
In the weeks since the Trump administration withheld almost $1 billion in security aid for Pakistan, Washington and Islamabad officials have been working to patch things up and avert a risky deterioration in their often troubled relationship. There has been speculation the USA military might undertake drone strikes deep inside Pakistan to target suspected hideouts of the Taliban and the allied Haqqani network.