US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale on Tuesday briefed Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on statements made by President Donald Trump regarding Pakistan in his South Asia policy announcement earlier in the day, a press release issued by the Foreign Office (FO) said.
In his first formal address to the US as commander-in-chief, Trump lambasted ally Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos”.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations,” Trump said as he cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan, backtracking from his promise to swiftly end America's longest war.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” Trump said. “That will have to change and that will change immediately.”
During the briefing, Ambassador Hale told Asif that during a meeting in the next few days, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will discuss the bilateral relationship between the two countries and the US's South Asia policy in greater detail, the FO's press release added.
Asif, reiterating Pakistan's desire for peace in Afghanistan, told the ambassador that he had accepted the invitation extended to him by TIllerson last week and looked forward to interactions with Washington, the FO's statement added.
Asif told the ambassador that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community to eliminate the menace of terrorism, the press release said.