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Pakistan Foreign Minister to visit Russia, China and Turkey

27 August 2017

Foreign office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said yesterday that the foreign minister will visit "regional countries for consultations" but did not provide details of his travel.

"First of all, we have long-standing relationship with the US".

A source has said that Islamabad is trying to mount a diplomatic offensive to muster the support of friendly countries in the face of Trump's allegations that Pakistan was hosting terrorist "safe havens" on its soil, the Express Tribune reported.

As Pakistan walks a diplomatic tightrope amid strained Pak-US relations, tensions could reach an unprecedentedly high level as some analysts say Trump's Afghan strategy could lead to an "uptick" in USA drone attacks on Pakistani soil, as suggested by Aljazeera's Asad Hashim.

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Talking to media in Sialkot, Khawaja Muhammad Asif says there will be no effect of US President Donald Trump's statement on Pakistan's economy.

President Donald Trump, while elaborating new Afghanistan policy on Monday said "We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond".

As Pakistan finds itself in the crosshairs of U.S. President Donald Trump's Afghan strategy, cracks continue to deepen in Pak-US relations.

The official further said that there are many different regional efforts that are likely to happen and move forward.

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Pakistani diplomats believe that the tri-nation tour will send a strong message to the United States that Pakistan could not be coerced and that the country enjoys broad support in the region. "It (South Asia policy) also prioritises the escalating tension between India and Pakistan, the two nuclear power countries, and looks for ways to de-escalate the tension between the two to avoid any potential military confrontation among them", the official said.

The latest country to throw weight behind Pakistan is Iran as Iranian foreign ministry in a statement denounced the new strategy adopted by the United States towards Pakistan and blamed Washington's opportunistic strategies and unilateral and meddlesome policies for growth in terrorism and extremism in the region.

While an "uptick" in USA drone strikes on Pakistani soil without its consent would most likely lead to deterioration in Pak-US relations, the possibility of USA troops, the increased number of which was announced during Trump's televised address on Monday, chasing down suspected terrorists into Pakistan territory could also be in the cards as well.

"If the U.S. doesn't trust Pakistan, it should make preparations to send Afghan refugees back", he said.

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Mr. Rafiq said that Pakistan also knows that it has several options to counter punitive actions by Washington, including closing supply routes to Afghanistan.

Pakistan Foreign Minister to visit Russia, China and Turkey