IANS | 16 Jan, 2018
Pakistan on Monday urged the US to take their bilateral
relationship forward during the first visit by a US delegation since the
suspension of security aid to the South Asian country over its perceived
inaction against terror groups.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Alice G. Wells
-- who arrived in Islamabad on Monday morning -- met Pakistani Foreign
Secretary Tehmina Janjua for updates on recent anti-terrorist operations, Efe
news agency reported.
Wells "underlined the need for strengthening intelligence cooperation
between the two sides to improve coordination in counter-terrorism
efforts", while the Pakistani Foreign Minister said the bilateral
relationship needed to "move forward under an environment of mutual trust
and respect", the Pakistani ministry said in a statement.
It added that the US delegation was informed of recent anti-terrorist actions
that have visibly improved the security situation in the country and region,
although no details of these actions were provided.
Janjua said that strengthening border management mechanisms between Pakistan
and Afghanistan was of vital importance in responding to border
In addition, she expressed concern over the use of Afghan territory by hostile
elements against Pakistan.
This is the first visit to Pakistan by a senior US official since January 4,
when Washington announced the suspension of the coalition support funds in
Pakistan until Islamabad takes "decisive" steps against terrorist
The US Department of State did not specify the exact amount of the suspended
aid but said it was significant.
The suspension came after US President Donald Trump on January 1 accused
Islamabad of "lies and deceit" and "giving safe haven to the
terrorists", and said that the US "has foolishly given Pakistan more
than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years".
The US and Afghanistan have for years accused Pakistan of providing refuge to
the Taliban's Haqqani network, which stages attacks on US and Afghan troops, a
claim that Islamabad denies.
Pakistan has defended its role in the war against terrorism, pointing to the
figure of 60,000 deaths and economic losses worth $123 billion suffered since