Pakistani Leaders Fire Back At Trump Tweet Accusing Them Of 'Lies & Deceit'
Pakistan says it is preparing a response to President Trump, who wrote in a New Year's Day tweet that Islamabad was giving Washington only "lies & deceit" in exchange for billions of dollars in U.S. aid.
In the tweet, Trump accused Pakistan – a key U.S. anti-terrorism ally — of taking American leaders for "fools" and providing terrorists from neighboring Afghanistan "safe haven."
In an apparent reference to the $33 billion in aid that Trump says the U.S. has "foolishly" given Pakistan over the past 15 years, he signed off his tweet: "No more!"
Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, in his own tweet, wrote that his government was preparing a response that "will let the world know the truth."
Later, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, summoned the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale, to lodge a formal complaint.
The U.S. has received "land and air communication, military bases and intelligence cooperation that decimated al-Qaida for 16 years," Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan reportedly said, adding "but they have given us nothing but invective and mistrust."
And Pakistan's prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who assumed the premiership just five months ago, has called a meeting of his National Security Committee to discuss a future course of action with the U.S.
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper writes:
"Mr Trump's tweets come a few days after Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan had done enough and it was time for the United States and Afghanistan to do more. He was referring to accusation by the US and Afghanistan regarding the presence of militant bases in Pakistan.
... In an interview with a private news channel in the evening, [Asif] said Pakistan had already done enough. 'We have already said no more [to the Americans] so Trump's no more is of no importance now,' he added.
'We are ready to publicly provide details of the US aid that has been received by the country,' said the minister, adding that Mr Trump was disappointed with the US defeat in Afghanistan and was accusing Pakistan in retaliation."
According to Diaa Hadid, NPR's correspondent in Islamabad, Pakistan, as senior ministers and military officials hold a national security committee meeting to assess the relationship with the United States, she says, "What we modestly expect them to say is that they are seeking out other foreign allies," such as China and Russia.