Islamabad: Pakistan has summoned the US envoy here to register its protest after President Donald Trump strongly rebuked the country for its “lies and deceit” accusing it of sheltering terrorists while receiving billions of dollars in aid.
The Pakistan Foreign Office summoned Ambassador David Hale last night as Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua sought an explanation from him over Trump’s remarks.
A US embassy spokesman today confirmed that Hale met Pakistani officials but did not comment on what was discussed.
However, there was no immediate response from the Pakistan Foreign Office.
Trump yesterday tore into Pakistan accusing it of giving nothing to the US but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion in aid over the last 15 years while “fooling” American leaders.
In his strongest attack on Pakistan yet, Trump in his first tweet of the year on New Year’s Day also appeared to suggest he could cut off foreign aid to Pakistan.
“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 tweeted.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” the president said.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif responded immediately saying, “…Will let the world know the truth… difference between facts and fiction”.
He said Pakistan had told the Trump administration that it would do “no more” for it (in the fight against terrorism).
“Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the US aid that it has received over the last 15 years,” the minister said.
Trump’s remarks came days after the New York Times reported that the US is considering withholding USD 225 million in aid to Pakistan, reflecting its dissatisfaction with Islamabad’s reluctance in the war against terrorism.
Unveiling his new South Asia policy in August, Trump had warned of tougher measures against Pakistan if it failed to cooperate with the US in the fight against terror.