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Alice Wells visits Islamabad amid strained Pakistan, US ties

ISLAMABAD: United States Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells arrived here on Monday to hold talks with Pakistani officials.   

Her visit is part of the regular engagements between the two countries to find common ground on shared objectives of peace and stability in the region.

The US State Department official called on Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua today.

During the meeting, they discussed the situation arising from US President Trump’s recent tweet and other aspects of Pak-America bilateral cooperation.

The ties between Islamabad and Washington strained further after US President Donald Trump’s “deceit and lies” tweet and freezing payments worth $900 million from the “coalition support fund” for Pakistan, saying Islamabad is not doing enough to target Afghan Taliban and Haqqani group bases.

Also in question is almost $1 billion of US military equipment that has allowed Pakistan access to advanced military technology.

According to the US officials, Washington has conveyed to Islamabad specific and concrete steps that it could take to get security aid.

In his New Year tweet, Trump had accused Pakistan of lies and deceit. “They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he tweeted.

Trump’s accusations heightened tensions between Pakistan and the US. The tensions resulted in suspension of military assistance to Pakistan, announced by Trump led US administration on January 5.

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