Khawaja Asif to visit China, Iran, Turkey, and Russia amid tensions with US
ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif is expected to embark on a four-nation tour of China, Russia, Iran and Turkey as tensions rise between Islamabad and Washington over the latter’s new strategy in Afghanistan.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that the minister “will be visiting regional countries for consultations.”
Last week, the foreign minister delayed his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington.
The Pakistani government also postponed the visit of Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, to Islamabad.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” he said.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” the tough-talking Trump added.
On Wednesday, the Pakistani National Assembly passed a resolution denouncing Trump’s and Nicholson’s statements on Pakistan as “hostile and threatening.”
Afghanistan has been torn by decades of Taliban-led militancy and the 2001 invasion by the US and its allies, while the ISIS terrorist group has emerged there more recently despite the presence of foreign troops.
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