ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan government summoned the United States Ambassador in Islamabad, David Hale, to express its serious concerns over a tweet by US President Donald Trump accusing Pakistan of lies and deceit and harboring terrorists, official sources told EFE on Tuesday.
“The US ambassador was summoned last night. We expressed our serious concerns over what president Trump said in the tweet to the ambassador,” a source from Pakistan’s foreign ministry, who asked not to be named, told EFE.
An official from the US embassy, who also requested not to be named, confirmed the meeting between Hale and the Pakistani authorities, but did not provide any details.
“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. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump had written in what was his first tweet of 2018.
These accusations from Trump came after the New York Times newspaper reported on Friday that the White House could withhold around $225 million in aid to Pakistan over its alleged laxity in checking terrorist networks.
“We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Monday in an interview on the country’s Geo TV channel in the wake of Trump’s tweet.
Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, for his part, claimed that they have supported the US in the fight against terrorism by providing access to land and air communication, military bases and intelligence that helped to dismantle the Al-Qaeda.
“But they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust,” the defense minister added in his tweet.
Relations between Pakistan and the US took a turn for the worse after Trump in August accused Pakistan of providing safe haven to terrorist groups.
Pakistan, which denies these accusations, later suspended official visits between the two countries.
Kabul and Washington have been accusing Islamabad of giving shelter to insurgent groups for years, like the Taliban faction Haqqani Network, which has carried out attacks in Afghanistan; however, no US president until now had sternly condemned Pakistan.