US hopes to strengthen ties with Pakistan: Pompeo

Washington: The US hopes to further strengthen ties with Pakistan in the years ahead and work with its people and government to advance shared goals of security, stability and prosperity in South Asia, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said.

Wishing the people of Pakistan on the country’s 72nd Independence day, Pompeo, in a statement, said for more than seven decades, the relationship between the US and Pakistan has “rested on the strong foundation of close ties between our two peoples.”

“In the years ahead, we hope to further strengthen these bonds, as we continue to look for opportunities to work with the people and Government of Pakistan to advance our shared goals of security, stability, and prosperity in South Asia,” he said in the statement.

Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan last week said that Pakistan and the US should strengthen their relations based on trust, amidst tensions in bilateral ties over Islamabad’s support for terror groups.

The relations between Pakistan and the United States nosedived this January after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving nothing to Washington but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists.

The US Congress also passed a bill to slash Pakistan’s defence aid to USD 150 million, significantly below the historic level of more than USD one billion per year.