'We feel betrayed' says Pakistani Army on US move to cut aid

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Referring to Trump's New Year's Day tweet accusing Islamabad of "lies and deceit" in the war against terrorism, Khan said that the U.S. president scapegoated Pakistan for the US-led coalition's failure to defeat the Taliban and bring peace to Afghanistan, and that "it was very insulting of him". But a Pakistani official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the government had breathed "a sigh of relief" as their USA counterparts played down Trump's comments.

In the weeks since the Trump administration withheld almost $1 billion in security aid for Pakistan, Washington and Islamabad officials have been working to patch things up and avert a risky deterioration in their often troubled relations.

Islamabad denies this and accuses the United States of disrespecting its vast sacrifices - casualties have numbered in the tens of thousands - in fighting terrorism.

The US is developing risk communication plans to access landlocked, which is now dependent on Pakistan, a official has said.The decision comes after relationship between the US and Pakistan nosedived as a result of administration's decision to suspend approximately $2 billion in security assistance as was not willing to take decisive actions against terror groups operating from its territory.

Trump's tweet infuriated Pakistani officials and caught the rest of the U.S. administration off guard.

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Pakistan later responded to Trump's allegations by convening a National Security Committee meeting, attended by Bajwa and Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Pakistan Army's public affairs division Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has released the details of Gen Bajwa's recent contacts with the USA leaders, Dawn newspaper reported Saturday.

The US military's Central Command did not comment on the content of their conversation.

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

Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said the return of the refugees is prerequisite in a bid to help the Pakistani forces deny safe havens to the Afghan militants. These included that "the problems in ties were temporary, there would be no unilateral action against Pakistan and that the U.S. did not want a disruption in ties rather it wanted cooperation from Islamabad on areas of its concern".

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It also ignited speculation that the U.S. could resume drone strikes or launch operations along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, where militant groups once operated with impunity.

In 2016, a USA drone killed the then-leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, prompting protests from Islamabad of a violation of sovereignty.

Since Trump took office, there have been several drone strikes in Pakistan's border region but they have not so far gone deeper into Pakistani territory, though Islamabad believes that is on a menu of punitive actions the United States administration is considering.

Military's public affairs division of Pakistan Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday released the details of Gen Bajwa's recent contacts with the U.S. leaders.

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