ISLAMABAD - The defence minister says country’s deteriorating relationship with the United States has led to a decline in the security and intelligence cooperation between the two allies to an almost non-existent level.

Cooperation between the two allies increased in the aftermath of the attacks on the United States in September 2001 by Al-Qaeda terrorists based in Afghanistan. But in a Voice of America interview, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir said recent harsh and very public criticism from Washington has contributed to a decline in the relationship.

“The kind of language President Trump has been using, what Vice President Pence used a few weeks ago at Bagram in Afghanistan, reduces the freedom of action of Pakistan government,” he said, adding the level of cooperation depended on the nature of the relationship with the United States. “The more stressful it gets, the lower the cooperation,” he said, describing the current relationship between the two countries as being in a state of “cold peace.”

Previous public comments by Dastgir about a suspension of security and intelligence cooperation with the United States sparked little reaction from US officials in Islamabad, who said they had received no such notification from the Pakistan government.

“This expectation that somehow a notice will be delivered from the Ministry of Defence to the US Embassy that hereby we are stopping intelligence cooperation, that’s not going to happen because it didn’t begin with a notice that hereby we are beginning intelligence cooperation,” Dastgir said.

Still, Pakistan continues to allow the United States to use its territory to resupply its troops in Afghanistan. It’s a card the country’s leadership said it might use if needed but not without serious contemplation about the possible consequences.

The US has limited choices when it comes to supplying its troops in this region. The alternatives require dealing with either Iran or Russia, two countries that have a worse relationship with the US than even Pakistan.