Pakistan postponed a visit by a US acting Assistant Secretary of State, officials said, as small protests broke out against President Donald Trump’s accusations that Islamabad was prolonging the war in Afghanistan.
The visit of Alice Wells, acting assistant Secretary of State for South and Asian Affairs, scheduled for Monday, would have been the first high-profile visit by a US official since Trump’s Afghan policy speech on August 21.
“At the request of the Government of Pakistan, Acting Assistant Secretary Wells’ trip has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” a US Embassy spokesperson said.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry released a statement with similar wording. Neither side gave a reason for the postponement, but US officials working in Pakistan have been on high-alert since Monday’s speech.
Trump accused Pakistan of harbouring “agents of chaos” and providing safe havens to militant groups waging an insurgency against a US-backed government in Kabul.
Pakistani officials responded by saying the US should not “scapegoat” Pakistan and accused the American military of failing to eliminate militant sanctuaries inside Afghanistan.