'We feel betrayed' says Pakistani Army on US move to cut aid

Pakistan army chief says nation felt betrayed by US criticism

'Betrayed' Pakistan army chief won't ask for further US aid

The statement added that Bajwa told Votel that "the entire Pakistani nation" felt betrayed by the recent USA statements despite decades of cooperation.

Military's public affairs division Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday released the details of Gen Bajwa's recent contacts with the United States leaders.

Talking to a private news channel, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that there is a need to find common ground in diplomacy, for resolving the issues.

Bajwa made the comments to Votel earlier this week during a phone call, a spokesman for Pakistan's military said in a statement on Friday.

U.S. Central Command chief General Joseph Votel has assured the head of the Pakistan Army that Washington "is not contemplating any unilateral action" inside the country, a statement from the Pakistani military said on Friday. The ISPR statement on the conversations that Gen Bajwa had with Gen Votel and the USA senator was, therefore, aimed at quelling the rumours.

Last week, President Donald Trump froze 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.

The Dawn says that possibility of a unilateral action was key concern in Islamabad after a Pentagon report on Afghanistan last month mentioned "unilateral steps in areas of divergence". "So now it is the job of Pakistan to take seriously their commitment to us and most importantly to the people of Pakistan who ... should want to root out terrorists in their country as much as we want to root out terrorists in their country".

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Spokesman Colonel John Thomas said Centcom is in "continuous communication" with the Pakistan military, including recurring conversations between Votel and Bajwa.

The official also cautioned that United States action to pressure Pakistan could extend beyond the new freeze in aid, if necessary.

The army chief told the USA 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".

The escalating tensions between the USA and Pakistan over what Washington says is Islamabad's provision of "safe havens to terrorists" might lead to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation being cut off from Afghanistan.

He told the American general that that the "entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed" over the USA statements, but insisted Pakistan would continue to support peace efforts in the region despite being made a "scapegoat". In response, the Pakistani Foreign Minister stated that his country was no longer in an alliance with the U.S. and said that its partner was treating it as a "whipping boy" for its failure in Afghanistan, powerfully remarking that America is "a friend who always betrays".

He also said the U.S. is not planning any action inside Pakistan but is seeking cooperation to recover terrorists who, according to the USA view, are using Pakistan's soil against Kabul.

Afghanistan has been opposed to the border management because of its reservations over accepting the Durand Line as the worldwide border.

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