US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has informed the Congress that American officials are treated badly in Pakistan, adding that Washington released “far fewer funds” to Pakistan in 2018 and may give even less next year.

The decision to raise the issue of mistreatment of US officials in Pakistan during a public hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee indicates that Islamabad’s once close relationship with Washington has almost ended and Pakistan is now treated as an adversary.

“My officers, our state department officers are being treated badly as well, folks working in the embassies and councils [and] in other places are not being treated well by the Pakistani government either,” said Mr Pompeo during a debate on the US State Department’s budget requests for the next fiscal year.

While the discussion focused on Iran, North Korea and other urgent issues, Congressman Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, brought Pakistan into the debate, saying: “As to Pakistan, it is a country of great importance to us and…I hope the state department would do public diplomacy in the Sindhi language and I hope that you would reach out to the leaders of Pakistan about the disappearances in Sindh and the forced disappearances [in other areas].”