Senior U.S. diplomat postpones Pakistan visit amid tensions


ISLAMABAD, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — A top U.S. diplomat in charge of South Asia affairs has postponed the planned visit to Pakistan amid bilateral tensions over U.S. President Donald Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

Pakistani officials and the U.S. embassy in Islamabad confirmed the postponement of the visit by U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells scheduled at the weekend.

At the request of the government of Pakistan, the visit has been postponed until a mutually convenient time, the U.S. embassy told local media.

Tensions between the two countries rises after Trump unveiled his South Asian and Afghanistan policies in which he warned that his administration 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. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.”

In a response, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif postponed his visit to Washington in the wake of Trump’s serious accusations.

Pakistani political leaders, including opposition parties, have showed rare unity against the new U.S. policies and said the country would not surrender to any threats.