KARACHI, Pakistan— Pakistani police used tear gas and batons Sunday to disperse anti-U.S. protesters in the southern port city of Karachi, while in the federal capital Islamabad the foreign office issued a terse announcement that it cancelled this week’s visit by a senior U.S. delegation.
Alice Wells, Washington’s special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, had been scheduled to meet Pakistani officials this week in Islamabad. No reason was given for the cancellation but it was apparently linked to the uncompromising demand made last week by President Donald Trump that Pakistan shut down safe havens for Afghan Taliban. Pakistan says it has no safe havens for the Taliban.
“At the request of the government of Pakistan, the visit of the U.S. delegation has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” the Pakistan foreign office statement said.
Meanwhile, in Karachi police officer Irfan Baloch said police took action when a group of Shiite students tried to march toward the U.S. consulate and an officer was injured in the process.
Trump in a speech announcing a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia said Washington wanted an immediate end to militant sanctuaries, particularly to members of the Haqqani network blamed for some of the worst attacks in Afghanistan.
In Islamabad, a group held a peaceful “Defence of Pakistan” rally condemning U.S. policy Sunday.