March 18, 2018

Pakistan PM Shahid Abbasi chairs meeting after Donald Trump's accusations

13 January 2018, 05:37 | Darnell Patrick

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the

Cabinet meeting to discuss Trump tweet tomorrow

Taking note of accusation that in response to 33 billion dollars in aid that had been given to Pakistan over the last 15 years, the USA has got nothing, army's spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted that the aid the country had received from the United States was "reimbursement for support Islamabad gave to the coalition for its fight against Al Qaeda".

China's defence of Pakistan follows a tweet by Trump on Monday - his first in the New Year - that the USA had "foolishly" given Islamabad $33 billion (Rs 2.10 lakh crore) in aid over the past 15 years.

Earlier on Tuesday, Radio Pakistan had reported that Abbasi would preside over a meeting of the federal cabinet on Tuesday, which will discuss among other things, the national security issue.

Pakistan's foreign minister hit back at Trump.

Khawaja Asif, Pakistan's foreign minister, told Geo TV on Monday: "He has tweeted against us [Pakistan] and Iran for his domestic consumption".

'We have already said no more [to the Americans] so Trump's no more is of no importance now, ' he added.

Soon after the president's tweet, the White House confirmed that the USA had suspended its United States dollars 255 million military aid to Pakistan.

The army and the government criticised Trump's statement and said the USA was blaming its failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan.

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"This is a very positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan", Trump said, adding that the Pakistani government's cooperation "is a sign that is honoring America wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region".

Opposition leader termed US President's behaviour as "extensively regrettable" and said that reality is contrary to allegations levelled against Pakistan as the country has paid heavy price for becoming American ally in Afghan wars.

Tensions between Washington and Islamabad were heightened in October when Pakistan refused to allow the United States access to a captured militant from the Haqqani network.

"We know that Pakistan can do more to fight and stop terrorism and we want them to step up and do that".

In reaction to the tweet, the Foreign Office summoned US Ambassador David Hale on Monday night and lodged a protest against Trump's tweet.

It was not immediately clear what prompted Trump's most recent criticism of Pakistan, but he has long complained that Islamabad is not doing enough to tackle Islamist militants.

Trump has been severely critical of the Pakistani government's handling of terrorist networks.

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