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Pentagon defends Pakistan’s ‘critical’ role after Trump’s tirade

WASHINGTON: A day after Donald Trump’s tirade, Pentagon defended Pakistan’s vital role in maintaining peace in South Asia and said Islamabad remains a ‘critical partner’ in the region.
In an interview to a television news channel on Sunday, Trump said that Islamabad was not doing “a damn thing” for the US, a ‘false assertion’, which was strongly countered by Prime Minister Imran Khan and political leadership.
“The US and Pakistan have a strong mutual interests in the region. As you know, they are critical (and) vital to the South Asia strategy and including the facilitation of a peace process that would lead to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan,” Col Rob Manning, Director of Defense Press Operations, told reporters during an off-camera news conference.
“They remain a critical partner in our South Asia strategy and there’s been no change to our military-to-military relationship with Pakistan,” Manning said, responding to question about the series of tweets by President Trump and his interview to Fox News that Pakistan has done nothing for the United States.
“I do not have any announcement on any change to the military to military relationship we have with Pakistan,” Manning said, when asked that his answers reflects that the Pentagon differs with the views of President Trump on Pakistan.

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