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Mike Pence Warns Pakistan, Pakistan in Denial, Pakistan Isolated, Pakistan Terror Groups, Safe Haven, Terror Haven, Trump Afghanistan Policy, Trump South Asia Policy, US Pakistan Ties, US Puts Pakistan on Notice, US South Asia Policy
Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Donald Trump could hire a US-based audit firm to verify the USD 33 billion figure he cited in a furious tweet on New Year’s Day.
In that post, the US President lamented that the US had “foolishly given” Pakistan that amount of money over a 15-year period. In return, Pakistan had given Washington “nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” he added.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he said. The news agency PTI later quoted a White House official as saying the US, “does does not plan to spend the USD 255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time.”
In response to Trump’s tweet, Khawaja Asif suggested that an audit would “let the world know who is lying and deceiving.”
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
5:42 PM - Jan 1, 2018
Khawaja M. Asif @KhawajaMAsif
8:05 PM - Jan 2, 2018
REVISION OF TIES
Meanwhile, the Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune reported today – citing sources – that Islamabad “will completely revise its relations policy” with the US, if “if the US reduces or suspends aid to Pakistan or places any sanctions.”
The newspaper also quoted sources as saying Pakistan “has…decided to reduce dependency on the US in different fields and look for alternatives.”
“It will also speed up the process of implementing its strategy for increasing diplomatic, trade and other relations with China, Russia and other countries,” the Tribune said.
Today, Pakistan held an emergency meeting of its National Security Council, in a desperate bid to find a way to respond to Trump’s accusations.
The meeting was chaired by Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and was attended by the Khawaja Asif, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, navy and air-force chiefs and other high-ranking civil and military officers. Pakistan has also called a Federal Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Its Parliamentary Committee on National Security will meet on Friday to discuss the matter.
“The meeting discussed the way forward in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s recent anti Pakistan remarks,” is all that a three-line Radio Pakistan brief said after the meeting.