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USA to have real relationship with Pakistan: Donald Trump

15 October, 2017

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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has said that Pakistan took “tremendous advantage” of the US over the years, but is now “starting to have a real” relationship.

Trump’s remarks came a day after Pakistan secured the release of an American-Canadian family from the clutches of the Haqqani network, five years after they were abducted.

“I have openly said Pakistan took tremendous advantage of our country for many years, but we’re starting to have a real relationship with Pakistan, and they’re to respect us as a nation again, and so are other nations,” Trump said.

“They are starting to respect the United States of America again,” he said and thanked the leaders of Pakistan for “what they’ve been doing”. “In this administration, we will call evil by its name,” Trump said. American citizen Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle along with their three children were rescued from the Haqqani network after an operation by Pakistani forces based on intelligence from the US authorities.

Trump hailed the release of the hostages from Taliban captivity. He said their release was a “positive moment” for US relations with Pakistan.

Trump also praised Pakistan for its willingness to “do more to provide security in the region” and said the release suggests other “countries are starting to respect the United States of America once again”.

While the freeing of the family has been hailed by officials as a positive step in mending ties between Washington and Islamabad, those hoping for a fresh start in their fraught relationship seem likely to be disappointed.

The two countries still have conflicting interests – and the Trump administration’s vow to apply more diplomatic pressure on Pakistan is unlikely to work, given Islamabad’s growing alliance with regional heavyweight China, say analysts.

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