In an apparent attempt to assuage the damage caused by US President Donald Trump’s tirade against Pakistan, the Pentagon termed Islamabad a critical partner to its South Asian strategy.
The statement from the Pentagon comes a day after Trump triggered a Twitter spat with Prime Minister Imran Khan when he reiterated the allegations he had levelled in a Fox News interview a day earlier. The US president accused Pakistan of “doing nothing” for the US despite receiving “billions of dollars” in aid.
“The US and Pakistan have strong mutual interests in the region,” reported NDTV while quoting Director of Defense Press Operations for the US Department of Defense Colonel Rob Manning III’s comments during an off-camera news conference.
As you know, they [Pakistan] are critical [and] vital to the South Asia strategy, including the facilitation of a peace process that would lead to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.”
Manning also clarified that there was no change in the military-to-military relationship between Pakistan and the United States.
When asked whether the Pentagon differed with Trump’s views, the official said he did not have “any announcement on any change to the military-to-military relationship” with Pakistan.