Pakistan apprises U.S. to address concerns to move forward: FO

Services Public Relations the public relations arm of the Pakistani army Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa attends the Change of Command ceremony in Rawalpindi Pakistan. Bajwa says

Inter Services Public Relations via AP

The Pakistani army said in a statement Friday that the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, said in a telephone conversationwith Pakistan's chief of army staff that the "ongoing turbulence" in the countries' relationship was "a temporary phase".

In a statement, spokesman Maj.

The Pakistani military said both Votel and an unnamed US senator phoned Bajwa to discuss security cooperation "over the week".

Ghafoor did not state exactly when the conversation took place, saying the call was made to Bajwa earlier this week.

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

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 U.S. personnel in neighboring Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press. Votel also told Bajwa the "U.S.is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan", it continued. Bajwa also said Pakistan is being treated badly by the U.S. "despite decades of cooperation,"Sputnik News reports".

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Bajwa responded that Pakistan is fully aware of concerns laid out by the U.S. in relation to the terrorist activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan, and his country is already engaged in several operations against those militants, AP reports. But one Pakistani official who spoke on condition of anonymity said his government had breathed "a sigh of relief" as their US counterparts played down Trump's comments.

USA and Pakistani officials say neither has happened, and in conversations over the last week the two sides have tried to move past Trump's incendiary rhetoric.

Pakistan responded to Trump's accusations by convening a National Security Committee meeting, which was attended by Pakistan's prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Bajwa. COAS said that Pakistan shall continue its honest counter terrorism efforts even without U.S. financial support in accordance with our national interest and shall remain committed to bring it to its logical conclusion along with other stake holders.

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Washington has long accused Islamabad of harboring militants, a charge Pakistan's government and military routinely deny.

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