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No US unilateral anti-terror action; Pakistan assured

14 January 2018

Famed cricketer turned politician Imran Khan said Saturday that meeting U.S. President Donald Trump would be a "bitter pill" to swallow should he become Pakistan's prime minister in elections later this year, but added "I would meet him".

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 unsafe deterioration in their often troubled relations.

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.

Army Chief, General Qamar Bajwa has said that Pakistan wouldn't ask for restoration of the financial assistance suspended by the United States and will continue its whole-hearted efforts against militancy and terrorism even without USA financial support in accordance with our own national interest.

"The U.S.is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan, but is seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals, who, in the U.S.'s view, use Pakistan's soil against Afghanistan", the spokesman quoted Votel as telling Bajwa.

It also ignited speculation that the United States could resume drone strikes or launch operations along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, where militant groups once operated with impunity. "We're hopeful for future cooperation from Pakistan", Steve Goldstein, US Under Secretary of State said in a statement.

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"We value mutual understanding of interests and concerns that we need to consider that might lead to a positive path forward", Thomas told AFP.

The escalating tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan over what Washington says is Islamabad's provision of "safe havens to terrorists" might lead to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation being cut off from Afghanistan.

The Pakistani statement on Friday did not directly refer to Trump's tweet.

And in 2011, a secret American raid in the military garrison city of Abbottabad killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks on American cities that prompted the US-led invasion to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The phone call comes on the heels of a tweet sent out by President Trump earlier this month, criticizing his country's long-standing policy of sending security aid to Pakistan.

Also in question is nearly $1 billion of U.S. military equipment that has allowed Pakistan access to advanced military technology.

No US unilateral anti-terror action; Pakistan assured