Talking to reporters in Brussels, the United States’ (US) Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Joseph Dunford insisted that he had not given up hope on the US mending relations with Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported on Tuesday.
Gen Dunford proposed military-to-military dialogue as a means to improve relations between the two nations, which have been strained since US President Donald Trump in a New Year’s tweet accused Pakistan of “harbouring terrorists” and subsequently blocked military aid to Pakistan.
The decision had elicited a strong reaction from Pakistan, where the civil and military leadership denounced the allegations and regretted that Washington did not value the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism.
But while the relationship between the US and Pakistan remains tense, both countries have insisted that officials from both sides are in contact.
On January 15, US diplomat Alice Wells commended Pakistan’s efforts to establish peace in the region during a scheduled dialogue on bilateral and regional cooperation between delegations of senior officials from Pakistan and the US.
On January 12, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa received a positive phone call from Commander US Central Command (Centcom), Gen Joseph L. Votel as well.
According to a press release from Inter-Services Public Relations, Votel told the army chief that the US merely seeks Pakistan’s cooperation in tackling Afghan nationals who, in America’s view, use Pakistan’s soil against Afghanistan. That, the American general said, has been undermining Pakistan’s contributions in the war.
He also assured the army chief that Washington was not considering to take any unilateral action on Pakistan’s territory, which negated an earlier report that Washington was willing to take unilateral steps in Pakistan if the interests of the two countries converge.