With U.S. President Donald Trump’s face plastered on screens across Pakistan Monday morning, Pakistani leaders responded angrily to the former real estate mogul and reality star’s first tweet of 2018 accusing the country of aiding and abetting terrorism in the region.
“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 and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Pakistan responded by summoning U.S. Ambassador David Hale to discuss the statement and lodging a strongly-worded protest. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shahid Abbasi, also called a Cabinet meeting for Tuesday to discuss the statement.
“We have already told the U.S. that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance,” Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told Geo TV.
Opposition politician Shireen Mazari called Trump “shameless”, saying, “We have sacrificed our citizens & soldiers fighting (your) war which we (should) never have done.”
There are reports that Trump is allegedly withholding a US$255 million assistance package after Pakistan refused to allow the United States access to a captured militant from the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, who is accused of being behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed more than 160 people.
Pakistan had also then lambasted the United States’ criticisms of its counter-terrorism efforts, saying it should not be made a scapegoat for the failure of the U.S. military in the so-called War on Terror in Afghanistan.