Pakistani Army Chief Says Nation Felt 'Betrayed' by US

Pakistan has suspended intelligence sharing with US Dastgir

The army chief was contacted by Centcom Commander Gen Joseph Votel last week and an unnamed Senator to defuse tensions after Trump's New Year Day hostile tweet accusing Pakistan of lying and being deceitful towards the US. He did not say when it occurred.

The contacts were apparently aimed at defusing tensions sparked by President Donald Trump's New Year Day tweet, accusing Pakistan of deceiving the USA in return for massive assistance.

"Pakistan is fully aware of United States concerns on 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", Gen Bajwa was quoted as having told Gen Votel.

The comment comes after President Donald Trump's administration withheld nearly $2 billion in security aid from Pakistan for allegedly failing to take "decisive action" against Taliban militants targeting U.S. personnel in neighboring Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.

The spokesman said that during the conversation with Votel, General Bajwa noted Pakistan was fully aware of USA concerns about the activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and that steps were being taken to counter them.

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Bajwa assured Votel that Pakistan would continue to follow through with its counter-terrorism plans without USA financial support, according to AP.

It said Bajwa assured Votel that Pakistan will keep supporting all initiatives for peace in Afghanistan. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said that Votel in his call to Gen. Qamer Javed Bajwa reiterated Washington's concern about Afghans using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks inside Afghanistan.

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 is in continuous communication with the Pakistan military, including recurring conversations between General Votel and Pakistan Chief of Army Staff Bajwa", a statement said.

Pakistan has been a key ally of the United States in war on terror since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, but relations have been strained between the two sides since Trump accused Islamabad of harboring terrorists. There has been speculation the USA military might undertake drone strikes deep inside Pakistan to target suspected hideouts of the Taliban and the allied Haqqani network. Islamabad restored the route only after the USA military formally apologized for the incident.

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