Pakistan claims India is 'distracting' it from counter-terrorism efforts

Pakistan plays victim card tells world 'India distracting us in fighting terror', blames RAW

"We stand ready to work with Pakistan in combating all terrorists without distinction, and we hope to be able to renew and deepen our bilateral security relationship when Pakistan demonstrates its willingness to aggressively confront the Taliban network, the Haqqani Network, and other terrorist and military groups that operate from its territory", Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein told reporters on Tuesday.

"Pakistan has the right to use available options if the US takes such measures against Pakistan and I think the government has come up with a mature response so far", Awan told Xinhua on Wednesday when asked about Pakistan's decision to suspend defense and intelligence cooperation.

He said Pakistan's support to the United States has been critical in dealing with the challenges of terrorism in the region.

The briefing comes as the USA in recent days stepped up efforts to put pressure on Pakistan to do more to combat terrorism.

Khan said that China, Russia and Iran were equally important as the United States to Pakistan and reaffirmed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif's statement signalling that the alliance between Pakistan and the USA was over.

In his Tuesday speech, Pakistani Defense Minister Khan also reminded the United States it needs Pakistan in its fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.

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.

The current U.S. -Pakistan feud first kicked off after Trump first took office, when he called out Islamabad in August 2017 during the announced of a new strategy for Afghanistan that called for an increase in troop levels, saying Washington could "no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations".

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"We shall not stop in our endeavors to root out terrorism, no matter what the cost", said Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a recent statement.

Reports also suggested that the USA decision to block aid to Pakistan could affect about 2 billion US dollars worth of assistance.

"Pakistani-Americans are patriotic and have served our nation in battle".

Pakistan says the United States is scapegoating it for USA failures in Afghanistan. "Pakistan has greater leverage over us than many imagine", he wrote.

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.

Instead of weeding out terror-related activities from home soil, Pakistan has now trained its guns on India and Afghanistan.

This is still a goodwill gesture by Pakistan at a time when the USA and its allies are still facing serious security challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan's security cooperation is vital to the US success in Afghanistan.

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