‘Pakistan suspends talks with US in protest’
ISLAMABAD: In a possible outcome of stern allegations by United States (US) president Donald Trump, Pakistan has deferred a visit by US acting Assistant Secretary of State in protest.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump in his Afghanistan policy speech had accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists on its soil and prolonging the Afghan war.
The visit of Alice Wells – acting assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Asian Affairs – was scheduled for Monday and it would have been the first high-profile visit by a US official since Trump’s Afghan policy announced in a televised speech on August 21.
However, it would have been Wells second visit to Islamabad in the month.
“At the request of the Government of Pakistan, Acting Assistant Secretary Wells’ trip has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson told an international news agency in Islamabad on Sunday.
Subsequently, Pakistan’s foreign ministry released a statement echoing similar sentiments.
However, no further details were shared by either side with regard to Wells visit to Islamabad in near future.
During her visit first visit earlier this month, Wells met Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the federal capital.
Last week, Pakistan’s foreign office on Wednesday said that blistering criticism by US President Donald Trump was “disappointing” and denied accusations that it supported terrorist groups.
In a firm rebuttal to Trump’s claims that Pakistan had harboured “agents of chaos”, the country’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement asserting its commitment to fighting terrorism.
“No country in the world has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders. It is, therefore disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation in this effort,” it said.
Trump dramatically increased the pressure on Pakistan during a much anticipated national address on Monday in which he laid out a new strategy on the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan.
It merits to mention here that police on Sunday (yesterday) resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas shells to stop a rally marching towards the US Consulate in Karachi.
The rally was organised by the Imamia Student Organisation (ISO), and was intended to march from Numaish to the US Consulate located on MT Khan Road. However, the rally was forcefully dispersed near the Shah-e-Khurasan Imambargah by police to prevent them from marching towards the US consulate.
The participants had organised the anti-US rally to protest against the recent statement by US President Donald Trump who accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terror groups.