‘United’ Pak denounces Trump’s remarks

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Islamabad—Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a resolution on Wednesday condemning US President Donald Trump’s accusations that Islamabad was prolonging the war in Afghanistan, denouncing them as “hostile” and “threatening.”

Speaking before the assembly, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif Asif urged the government to consider postponing any visits by US delegations to Pakistan or by Pakistani officials to the United States and closing off “ground and air lines of communication through Pakistan.”

On Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign office announced that it had postponed a visit by a US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells to discuss Washington’s new Afghan policy, but at the time did not provide a reason.

Trump accused Pakistan of harboring “agents of chaos” and providing safe havens to militant groups waging an insurgency against the US-backed government in Kabul.

Pakistani officials bristle at what they say is a lack of respect from Washington for the country’s sacrifices in the war against militancy and its successes against groups like Al-Qaeda, Daesh or the Pakistani Taliban.

Pakistan estimates there have been 70,000 Pakistani casualties in militant attacks since it joined the US war on terror after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US.

Successive US administrations have struggled with how to deal with nuclear-armed Pakistan. Washington fumes about inaction against the Taliban, but Pakistan has been helpful on other counter terrorism efforts, including against Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

The US also has no choice but to use Pakistani roads to resupply its troops in landlocked Afghanistan. US officials worry that if Pakistan becomes an active foe, it could further destabilize Afghanistan and endanger US soldiers.

“Afghanistan, the US and its allies should close their borders to leaders of terrorist, militant groups carrying out acts of terrorism against Pakistan,” Asif told the assembly

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