Pakistani leaders angrily react after Trump's tweet

Islamabad, Jan 2, IRNA - Political leaders of Pakistan have strongly reacted to the statement by the United States (US) President Donald Trump regarding provision of aid to Pakistan.

The US president had tweeted that his country made an unwise decision to provide over $33 billion aid to Pakistan in the last 15 years.

In his tweet, Trump had accused Pakistan of giving nothing in return except lies and deceit by taking the US for a fool, saying, “They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, in a reply to the US president's tweet, said Pakistan will let the world know the truth and will be responding to Trump's tweet. He added that there is a difference between facts and fiction.

In a related development reflecting on worsening ties, the US ambassador in Pakistan was summoned to the Foreign Office and a strong protest over Trump’s remarks was lodged with him.

Trump’s tweet comes a few days after Pakistan Army Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Chief Major General Asif Ghafoor had said Pakistan had done enough and it was time for the United States and Afghanistan to do more.

Defense Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan in a separate tweet said, “Pakistan as an anti-terror ally has given free to US: land and air communication, military bases and intelligence cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16 yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective and mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.”

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi‏ termed Trump’s tweet as shocking and disappointing which completely disregards the important role played by Pakistan in the War on Terror. He added Pakistan is a sovereign nation and will undertake its decisions based on its national interests and priorities.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik‏ said Pakistan hasn’t deceived USA but it is USA which is not playing fair with us. He added no country has suffered more than Pak in your war on terror.

Another PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said that the US was unnecessarily targeting Pakistan in a state of confusion and uncertainty. She also said that the amount paid by the US to Pakistan did not include any traffic charges on trucks supplying allied troops in Afghanistan till date.

She said that the Coalition Support Funds have never been counted as aid by Pakistan, nor would it be considered a part of assistance provided to Pakistan by the US. Cautioning the current leadership against starting a war of words, she said that it was a better option to talk directly with the US in this connection.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar said that the world’s strongest military force had failed to show progress in its 16-year long military action in Afghanistan, adding that they were even incapable of a graceful exit and were thus leveling baseless allegations against Pakistan.

PTI leader Shireen Mazari also criticized Trump’s tweet by referring to Trump and the US as shameless. She said Pakistan had provided huge sacrifices in a war which was not our own.

She advised the current leadership to tell the US to keep its money and instead stop all ground and air communication provided the US military by Pakistan.

The PTI leader also said that Pakistan should also make a list of all US diplomats and citizens working in the country, including in non-governmental organizations, and send the excessive numbers back home.

Another PTI leader Arif Alvi said that the tweet by the US president was an insult to the people of Pakistan who were degraded wrongly by the superpower. He said that the US had forgotten that the same people have suffered due to their policies in the region since the past few decades.

Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that the US lacked the capacity to actually befriend a country that helped it.

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