Pakistan's army chief told a top US general the nation "felt betrayed" by criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, the Pakistani military said on Friday, after US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of "lies and deceit".
Khan said that Trump scapegoated Pakistan for the USA -led coalition's failure to defeat the Taliban and bring peace to Afghanistan, and that "it was very insulting of him".
During the phone calls, the Pakistani Army Chief told Gen. Votel that the entire nation felt betrayed over the recent USA allegations despite decades of cooperation between the two countries.
The comment comes after President Donald Trump's administration withheld nearly $2 billion in security aid from Pakistan for allegedly failing to take "decisive action" against Taliban militants targeting USA personnel in neighboring Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.
"That was really a major impetus in suspending the security assistance to Pakistan because we feel they have not done all that they could to try to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan that are contributing to unrest in Afghanistan", Juster added.
Gen Votel reportedly assured General Bajwa that Washington "is not contemplating any unilateral action" inside the country, the ISPR statement said.
Trump has been less charitable towards Pakistan.
The US military's Central Command did not comment on the content of their conversation.
In a press briefing, Khan, who has an worldwide reputation as a ladies man and at home is seen more as a religious conservative, said he has been a staunch opponent of Pakistan's participation in the war on terror since it began in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
Spokesman Colonel John Thomas said Centcom is in "continuous communication" with the Pakistan military, including recurring conversations between Votel and Bajwa. The tensions resulted in suspension of military assistance to Pakistan, announced by Trump led USA administration on January 5.
United States Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster on Thursday underscored that Islamabad's "positive" contribution is imperative for the stability and security in Afghanistan.
US military leaders are continuing to maintain close with their counterparts in despite the White House's latest round of harsh economic sanctions against the South Asian nation. But a Pakistani official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the government had breathed "a sigh of relief" as their US counterparts played down Trump's comments.
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