Pakistan Foreign Minister meets Prime Minister Abbasi after Trump's barb

Violet Powell
January 2, 2018

Trump's tweet drew a strong reaction from Pakistan.

The Countrywide condemnation of US President Donald Trump's anti-Pakistan tweet doesn't seem getting alleviated soon, and now the Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir also rejected the notion of Pakistan having safe havens for terrorists.

"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools", Trump said in the early-morning New Year's Day tweet.

According to a November report from the Congressional Research Service, the United States has appropriated $34 billion in direct aid and military reimbursements for Pakistan since 2002, with proposed security and economic assistance at $345 million for this fiscal year.

Separately, the Foreign Office also summoned the USA ambassador in Islamabad David Hale last night and lodged a protest over Donald Trump's rhetoric against Pakistan. Pakistan has been one of the largest recipients.

Washington and Kabul have long accused Islamabad of supporting militant groups including the Taliban, believed to have links to Pakistan's shadowy military establishment who aim to use them as a regional bulwark against arch-nemesis India. He had criticised Pakistan in August 2017 for providing shelter to terrorists.

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However the Pakistani military launched an operation there in 2014, and now insists it has eradicated all safe havens in the country. "No more!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

Clearly, Trump has pointed out that thge USA is not satisfied with the action taken by Islamabad against the terrorism emanation fro Pakistan's soil.

The jawans of Pakistan Armed Forces and civilians have given great sacrifices in the war against terrorism, he told a private news channel after Trump lashed out at Pakistan with threats to cut aid over "lies" about militancy.

Relations between United States and its uneasy ally Pakistan have been strained for many years over Islamabad's alleged support for Haqqani network militants, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban.

"As the President said, so I say now: Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the United States, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists", he added.

Trump's senior administration officials met last month to decide what to do about the money.

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