No US unilateral anti-terror action in Pakistan despite Trump's hostile tweets

Under-19 Cricket World Cup Afghanistan registers upset win over Pakistan

For his part Bajwa told Votel that the "entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed" over the USA statements, but insisted Pakistan would continue to support peace efforts in the region despite being made a "scapegoat".

The move, first announced by Trump in a New Year's Day tweet, sparked indignation in Pakistan, which has long denied the USA accusations of militant support, and accused Washington of dismissing the sacrifices it has made in the war on extremism.

Centcom Commander Gen Joseph Votel, assuaging Pakistan's concerns, held out the assurance to Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa during a telephonic conversation last week, the army's media wing said on Friday.

For his part, Gen. Bajwa told Votel the "entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed" over the U.S. statements.

After days of testy exchanges between Washington and Islamabad, the US Central Command (Centcom) chief has ruled out unilateral action against terrorists on Pakistan's soil.

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.

"The U.S.is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan, but is seeking cooperation to tackle Afghan nationals, who, in the U.S.'s view, use Pakistan's soil against Afghanistan", the spokesman quoted Votel as telling Bajwa.

It said Bajwa, however, assured Votel that Pakistan would continue its counter-terrorism efforts even without US financial support in accordance with the Islamic nation's security interests.

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Trump's tweet has sparked a war of words between Pakistan and the United States, prompting fears the two are on a collision course.

The Pakistani assertion that Votel said no unilateral action inside Pakistan was being considered may have referred to the possibility of cross-border United States drone strikes and other military missions targeting Taliban and other militant figures outside the border area.

The Pakistani statement on Friday did not directly refer to Trump's tweet.

"Pakistan is fully aware of U.S. concerns on activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and we are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation Raddul Fasaad to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan refugees is an essential prerequisite", Gen Bajwa was quoted as having told Gen Votel.

A Central Command spokesman confirmed Votel's contact with Bajwa. He also acknowledged the effectiveness of some of the recent actions taken by Pakistan.

However, the U.S. military is also concerned that the Pakistani army, which effectively runs foreign policy, might close the air and land corridors on which US-led troops and Afghan forces in landlocked Afghanistan depend for supplies.

And in 2011, a secret American raid in the military garrison city of Abbottabad killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks on American cities that prompted the US-led invasion to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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