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Zamir Akram, Pakistan's former ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, said that Pakistan should further cement its bonding with other regional powers such as Iran and Russian Federation so as to balance USA and Indian influence in the region.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Last month, Mr Trump suspended about US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) worth of military aid to the nuclear-armed nation and accused Pakistan of giving "lies and deceit" in return for years of USA funding.

Referring the cross-border activity, the Pakistani foreign minister said it is a "free for all", adding, "These issues are facilitating terrorism".

Asif had in December said that about 9,000 tonnes of opium was being cultivated in Afghanistan and that it was unusual that a huge cache of narcotics - amounting to almost $150 billion - was being smuggled in the presence of allied forces.

When asked to comment on Trump's tweets, Asif reiterated that "both sides are trying to decrease the stress".

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Pakistan and Afghanistan have denounced each other for harbouring insurgents, prompting relations to drastically sour in the past year.

Asif repeated the claims when talking to Bloomberg, noting most of the estimated 600,000 Afghan refugees who went back to their home country in 2017 returned to Pakistan.

Terming the camps breeding grounds for insurgency, the foreign minister said the global fraternity must do more to assist Pakistan with shouldering the burden of repatriation.

The Taliban can move easily between the two countries in the often lawless border lands and are usually waved through by Pakistan security forces, according to the AAN, citing conversations with multiple current and former Taliban fighters, doctors and Afghans living in the region.

The spokesman said Pakistan had taken indiscriminate action against all terrorist groups with the commitment to eradicate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

He said Pakistan looked forward to mutually beneficial partnership with all countries and its foreign policy reflected the aspirations of its people and served its national interests.

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