Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif has said that Islamabad had suspended talks and bilateral visits with Washington as a protest over US President Donald Trump’s remarks condemning the South Asian nation, the media reported. The Minister told the Senate on Monday that Pakistan had taken Trump’s remarks seriously, reports Dawn news.
Asif’s statement comes amid tense relations between the two countries following Trump’s announcement of his new South Asia policy which was critical of Pakistan. Last week, Trump, in his first address as the commander-in-chief, called for more troop deployment and India’s role in Afghanistan while lambasting Pakistan for offering safe havens to “agents of chaos”.
Pakistan on Sunday postponed a visit by a US acting Assistant Secretary of State, officials said, as protests broke out against Trump’s accusations. About the Trump’s South Asia policy, Asif said it envisaged no military role for India in Afghanistan.
According to the sources, the Minister said it was rather a role of economic development. He claimed that India would not be allowed to use Afghan soil to destabilise Pakistan.
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua informed the Senate that a meeting of Pakistan’s envoys had been convened from September 5 to 7 to chalk out a strategy over the new US policy on South Asia, reports Dawn news. It was decided that the Senate will meet again Tuesday to finetune policy guidelines in the light of emerging realities and the role of the US, developed by a six-member committee of the house.
The policy guidelines will be given shape of a resolution which is most likely to be passed on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s newly-appointed Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is set to visit the US in the third week of September.
The visit will be Abbasi’s maiden visit to the US as Prime Minister and he is expected to meet American officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.