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Pakistani Leaders Devise Response To U.S. Criticism

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (file photo)

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has met with Pakistan's military leadership and other top officials to formulate a response to the new U.S. policy on Afghanistan.

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif are among those attending the National Security Council meeting on August 24, the newspaper Dawn reported.

Outlining the strategy on August 22, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that Washington will no longer tolerate Pakistan offering "safe havens" to extremist groups such as the Afghan Taliban, a claim Islamabad denies.

Asif added his voice to a chorus of indignation in the country over the U.S. criticism, saying on August 23, "They should not make Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures in Afghanistan."

At a meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, General Bajwa said that "peace in Afghanistan is as important for Pakistan than any other country," a military statement said.

Based on reporting by Dawn and Reuters