Ambassadors in Islamabad briefed on anti-terrorism efforts, challenges


Pakistan has suspended defence and intelligence cooperation with the USA amid growing tensions over Washington's suspension of military aid to Islamabad, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir has said.

"A day earlier, Pakistan's Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said there is "... a wide field of intelligence cooperation and defense cooperation, which we have suspended".

The Foreign Office on Thursday said operation between Pakistan and the United States was imperative for the regional peace and specifically for stability in Afghanistan.

He said that U.S. was busy playing the blame game against Pakistan rather than helping them secure the Pak-Afghan border.

Manning said that the USA stands ready to "work together" with Pakistan, and that, "the U.S has conveyed to Pakistan specific and concrete steps that it could take toward these ends", adding, "We stand ready to work together with Pakistan to combat terrorist groups without distinction".

Ijaz Awan, a retired major general in the Pakistani military, argued that the US has pursued a policy of "coercion" towards Pakistan and that the approach of pressure tactics will be counterproductive.

He had also claimed that the "United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools".

But statements from senior USA officials indicate that despite these limitations, the administration is serious in its stance that Pakistan needs to change its behavior.

British Ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Nicholas Kay visited Islamabad for a series of meetings with the Pakistani officials, a British High Commission statement said on Wednesday.

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They were also briefed about the terrorist threat emanating from the safe havens and sanctuaries in Afghanistan, which is resulting in loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure in Pakistan.

Pakistan issued a statement on Friday that said, "We are engaged with the US Administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details".

Although it is still not clear how much aid has been stopped, Mr Olson said the decision could affect about $1.3 billion worth of annual aid.

While answering to a question, he said Pakistan had been hosting Afghan refugees for last four decades. "The specific individual things we're doing are best handled in private, to ensure that we can be most productive - and that's what we're working now".

"The United States has tuned Afghanistan into another Vietnam as it needs a scapegoat".

"Our expectations are straightforward: Taliban and Haqqani leadership and attack planners should no longer be able to find safe haven or conduct operations from Pakistani soil", said Army Col.

Islamabad had earlier showed restraint despite allegations by the US leaders and aid suspension but the defense minister's statement could be seen an indication that his country will be forced to make decision in its national interests.

The development comes amid rising U.S.