Foreign ministry says tour indefinitely postponed until ‘mutually convenient time’
Pakistan has postponed a visit by a U.S. diplomat who had been due to arrive on Monday, a week after President Donald Trump publicly upbraided Islamabad for harboring militants attacking U.S. and Afghan troops.
The delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells was set to be the first major visit by an American official since the president’s comments. “At the request of the Gov’t of Pakistan, the visit of the U.S. delegation has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” the foreign ministry said late Sunday.
In a major speech outlining U.S. policy on Afghanistan Trump slammed Pakistan for offering safe havens to “agents of chaos” and suggested relations would be adjusted immediately. He offered few details.
Successive U.S. administrations have criticized Pakistan for maintaining links with the Taliban and harboring leading jihadists—like Osama bin Laden. Following Trump’s remarks, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also cautioned that Pakistan could lose its status as a major U.S. ally and see its U.S. military aid suspended.
Pakistan’s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in comments after the speech, demanded “trust” rather than continued financial aid from Washington.
Islamabad has repeatedly denied claims of being soft on militancy, accusing its ally of ignoring the thousands who have been killed in Pakistan and the billions spent fighting extremists.