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Unilateral steps adversely impact Pak-US ties, says FO

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office said on Friday the United States is drifting away from Pakistan despite its long-term partnership with Islamabad.

At a weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Friday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal expressed his surprise over the recent US intelligence reports that Pakistan was drifting away from Washington.

He pointed out that the US took several unilateral steps in recent months which have actually impacted the relationship. It was for the US to rebuild the trust.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan has categorically conveyed to the US that this relationship can move forward in an environment of mutual trust and respect.

Responding to a question, Dr Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan had serious concerns over the motion moved by the US and the UK at the Financial Action Task Force to put the country on a grey-list.

He pointed out that most of the concerns by the US regarding deficiencies in anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism had already been addressed in 2015 when Pakistan was excluded from the grey list.

The spokesperson said the exit from the grey list was acknowledgment of the country’s robust mechanism against money laundering and terrorism which is in line with the international standards.

When asked about accusations made by the Indian Army Chief that Pakistan and China are behind the influx of people from Bangladesh to India’s northeast, the spokesperson termed them a figment of the Indian Army Chief’s imagination.

He said this was being done to create hysteria against Pakistan.

The spokesperson said tension on the Line of Control is a cause of concern for Pakistan and the international community.

Responding to a question, Faisal said the most viable solution to the Afghan conflict is through a politically negotiated settlement between the Afghan government and the warring factions.

He clarified that Pakistan has not sent troops to Saudi Arabia to become part of Islamic military alliance.

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