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From Pakistan: 'Vehement Denials' And Indignation After U.S. Accusations

There are "vehement denials and also ... a good degree of indignation" from Pakistan today, Los Angeles Times correspondent Alex Rodriguez tells NPR from Islamabad. Officials there are responding to comments from the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff — who said Thursday that "extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers."

The Wall Street Journal adds that "Pakistan's foreign minister warned the U.S. that it risked losing an ally" because of what Adm. Mike Mullen told Congress. It reports that:

"Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who is in the U.S. for the United Nations General Assembly, said those comments risked straining relations to breaking point. 'Pointing fingers at each other will not help,' she told NDTV, an Indian news channel. 'We've never ventured into the blame game because we want to be a mature, responsible country.' "

The Associated Press sums up the reaction from Pakistani officials this way:

"Pakistan lashed out at the U.S. ... Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar dismissed the claims as mere allegations. She warned the U.S. that it risked losing Pakistan as an ally and could not afford to alienate the Pakistani government or its people. 'If they are choosing to do so, it will be at their own cost," Khar told Geo TV on Thursday. ... 'Anything which is said about an ally, about a partner publicly to recriminate it, to humiliate it is not acceptable.' "

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.