Pakistan apprises U.S. to address concerns for moving forward: FO


U.S. Central Command chief General Joseph Votel told General Qamar Javed Bajwa during a telephone call this week that the United States was not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan, the Pakistani army said in a statement. It added that Bajwa told Votel Pakistan was fully aware of the USA concerns regarding activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and is already undertaking several operations against militants.

The Pakistani military said both Votel and an unnamed USA senator phoned Bajwa to discuss security cooperation "over the week".

Bajwa responded that Pakistan is fully aware of concerns laid out by the U.S. in relation to the terrorist activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, and his country is already engaged in several operations against those militants, AP reports.

"The General said that US values Pakistan's role towards war on terror and expected that on-going turbulence remains a temporary phase", the statement said.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Pakistan has assisted the United States in its fight in the war on terrorism, providing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with supply routes into landlocked Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion, Bloomberg reports.

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The Pakistani military in a statement said Gen. Votel apprised COAS about the USA decision regarding Security Assistance and Coalition Support Fund and said that U.S. values Pakistan's role towards war on terror and expected that on-going turbulence remains a temporary phase.

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

"We value mutual understanding of interests and concerns that we need to consider that might lead to a positive path forward", Thomas said. But one Pakistani official who spoke on condition of anonymity said his government had breathed "a sigh of relief" as their US counterparts played down Trump's comments.

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.

"Even the USA ambassador", who was summoned for a meeting at Pakistan's Foreign Ministry after Trump's New Year's Day tweets, "didn't have an explanation for the tweet for the first couple of days", the official said. Also in question is nearly $1 billion of USA military equipment that has allowed Pakistan access to advanced military technology. "They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".