The United States’ ambassador to Pakistan has been summoned by leaders in Islamabad — an ongoing response to a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump Monday that slammed the Middle Eastern nation.
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua called on U.S. diplomat David Hale to launch a formal complaint over Trump’s first tweet of 2018, which accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit” — and said the United States has “foolishly” given financial aid in the past to a nation that provides a “safe haven” 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’s tweet Monday, his first of the new year, said. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Pakistani Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan said earlier the United States has received “land and air communication, military bases and intelligence cooperation that decimated al-Qaida for 16 years” but has given “nothing but invective and mistrust” in return.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also answered the tweet by calling for a meeting of the National Security Committee.
It’s expected Pakistan will issue a formal response to Trump’s tweet following the meeting.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif fired back with his own tweet, saying Pakistan “will respond shortly” and let the world know the difference “between facts and fiction.” He added that Pakistan has done enough to appease the United States.
“We have already said no more [to the Americans] so Trump’s ‘no more’ is of no importance now,” Asif said.
“We are ready to publicly provide details of the US aid that has been received by the country.”
The Trump administration has notified Congress it’s holding off sending the money for the military until it sees greater cooperation in the fight against the militant Haqqani Network and the Taliban.
China has defended Pakistan against Trump’s words.
“Pakistan has made enormous efforts and sacrifice for the fight against terrorism and has made very outstanding contribution to the global cause of counter terrorism. The international community should acknowledge that,” Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said.
Tuesday, Trump again criticized former President Barack Obama for giving financial aid — this time, to Iran.
“All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets.’ The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!” he wrote.
By Sara Shayanian