ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday warned the United States that preferring New Delhi over Islamabad could hamper the global campaign against terror, The Nation learnt.

Official sources said Washington had been contacted by top officials from Islamabad, conveying a strong message against the attempts to discredit Pakistan that had sacrificed more than any other country in the fight against terrorism.

The development came after US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner asked Pakistan to act against terror groups targeting its neighbours and not just the ones that pose a threat to it, alleging Pakistan was going after terror groups ‘selectively.’

Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria came out in a strong reply, blaming the US for discrimination. He said the arrest of an in-service Indian spy in March this year prompted no reaction from the US. “The arrest of the neighbour's spy agency officer who publicly confessed to his state’s involvement in perpetrating and financing terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan surprisingly did not prompt any statement by the US,” he added.

He also made a veiled reference to India’s alleged use of Afghan territory to create regional instability. “Gen McChrystal’s 2009 report had also mentioned the neighbour’s activities from the territory of another neighbour of Islamabad and that they could be detrimental to stability in Pakistan as well as the region,” he said, adding India’s bloodshed in Held Kashmir also did not invite the US attention.

A senior official at the Foreign Ministry told The Nation that Washington had been warned against preferring India over Pakistan as Islamabad worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the West against terror.

“We took it as our own fight and now they are telling us that we are selective. Of course, we can’t go inside Afghanistan and India to target the terrorists. We have not become as powerful as the US which uses drone in other countries,” the official said.

Another official said Washington referred to the complaints of India and Afghanistan to justify the recent statement doubting Pakistan’s anti-terror role.

“They have been told that such statements or policy of discrimination will hamper the global war on terror and increase pressure on the government from the people of Pakistan to leave the US-led alliance. The US says India and Afghanistan are convincing them against Pakistan’s role,” he said.

Last week, the US withheld $ 300 million of military aid to Pakistan after Defense Secretary Ash Carter found he could not certify that enough action had been taken against the Haqqani Network insurgent group, the latest dispute straining relations between the two nations.

“The funds could not be released to the government of Pakistan at this time because the secretary has not yet certified that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network,” Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

“Pakistan’s efforts have reduced the ability of some militant groups to use North Waziristan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as a safe haven for terrorism. However, the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to operate in other locations in Pakistan,” he added.

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Pakistan has received billions of dollars in US aid for providing supply lines for its invasion of Afghanistan. But the relationship has also been marked by tension over whether Pakistan is doing enough to combat militant groups.

Pakistan has been authorised an additional $ 900 million for the 2016 fiscal year under the military support fund, though $ 350 million are also subject to the defence secretary’s certificate that the country has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network,” Stump said. Congress required the certification as part of its annual defence spending bill.

The withholding of military aid is the latest in a series of spats between the two nations following America’s first drone strike in Balochistan, killing Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in May. This added to tensions after key US lawmakers, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, notified President Barack Obama’s administration that they would not approve a sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan this year.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz recently said terrorism could only be defeated with unity and cooperation of the international community.

He said Pakistan appreciates acknowledgement of its contributions by the international community.

Defence analyst Air Marshal (r) Shahid Latif said the recent events in various other countries had made it clear to the international community that terrorism had spread across the world.

“The total losses of all Nato countries cannot exceed Pakistan’s. India is supporting militants in Pakistan. We have provided proofs of Indian involvement to the international community. The international community should pressurise India to stop such activities,” he said.