Islamabad has suspended talks with US  temporarily: Pak Foreign Minister 

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has stated that Islamabad has temporarily suspended talks with the United States as well as official bilateral visits in protest against the President Donald Trump’s speech in which he lambasted Pakistan for keeping double standards in the fight against terrorism.

The Minister told the Senate on Monday that Pakistan had taken Trump’s remarks seriously, reported the Dawn news. US Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells was supposed to arrive Islamabad today, while the Pak foreign minister himself was to travel to the US last week under the previous schedule.

Pakistan parliamentarians have discussed thoroughly to suggest a policy guideline for the government in response to the new US policy on Afghanistan, The Express Tribune reported.

“As an immediate reaction, he postponed his first visit to Washington as foreign minister last week,” a source quoted Asif as saying.

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, the Dawn news report added.

It was decided that the Senate will meet again Tuesday to fine tune 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.

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