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14 January 2018, 12:44 | Terri Saunders
Robert Hathaway's new book traces the history of Pak-US relations from the early 1950s to the Trump era
Famed cricketer turned politician Imran Khan said Saturday that meeting U.S. President Donald Trump would be a "bitter pill" to swallow should he become Pakistan's prime minister in elections later this year, but added "I would meet him", reported Washington Post. Pakistan would surely face economic difficulties because of leverages being applied by the United States to force it to toe its lines but then Pakistan too has several leverages that would render American efforts in Afghanistan to a naught. "So now it is the job of Pakistan to take seriously their commitment to us and most importantly to the people of Pakistan who ... should want to root out terrorists in their country as much as we want to root out terrorists in their country".
In the weeks since the Trump administration withheld almost $1 billion in security aid for Pakistan, Washington and Islamabad officials have been working to patch things up and avert a unsafe deterioration in their often troubled relationship.
In a press briefing, Khan, who has an worldwide reputation as a ladies man and at home is seen more as a religious conservative, said he has been a staunch opponent of Pakistan's participation in the war on terror since it began in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
In Washington, a senior State Department official expressed hope that the two countries would come to terms and that Pakistan would meet USA requests for the handover of captured terrorism suspects.
Last week, the said the United States favours supply routes through Pakistan because of cost, but has built flexibility into its Afghan supply lines to avoid over-reliance on any single option.
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A harsh critic of the US-led war, the cricketer-turned-politician reiterated his stance that while Pakistan should have supported United States campaign against terrorism, deployment of its troops in the tribal areas near Pak-Afghan border should not have been done.
The U.S. military's Central Command said on Friday it was in "continuous communication" with Pakistan's military, after Pakistan's army said its top general "felt betrayed" at U.S. criticism it was not doing enough to fight terrorism.
Speaking to the US CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel, the Pakistani Army Chief said "Pakistan is fully aware of US concerns on activities of Afghan nationals in Pakistan and we are already undertaking multiple actions through Operation "Radd ul Fasaad" to deny any residual capacity to terrorists of all hue and colour for which return of Afghan Refugees is an essential prerequisite".
Khan and his party spearheaded street protests and a subsequent legal battle that ousted Pakistan's thrice-elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, from office last July on corruption charges.
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