ISLAMABAD: After US President Donald Trump responded to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet claiming that Pakistan is among many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return, PM Khan, on Monday, fired back saying Trump’s false assertions only add insult to injury and that Pakistan will now do what is best for its own interest.
“Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury Pakistan has suffered in the US War on Terror in terms of lives lost and destabilized economic costs. He needs to be informed about historical facts. Pakistan has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people and our interests,” tweeted PM Khan.
A day after US President Donald Trump claimed that Pakistan does not do “a damn thing” for Washington, PM Khan took to Twitter to set the record straight by telling him to quit using Islamabad as a “scapegoat” in his “tirade” against the country.
In a four-point tweet, Khan explained why Trump’s comments were unjustified, reasoning that “No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pakistan decided to participate in the US war on terror” nevertheless.
He added that while Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in the war and incurred losses of more than $123 billion to the economy, the aid provided by the US was “a minuscule $20 billion”.
Elaborating on the catastrophic effect that the war on terror had on Pakistan’s tribal region and on the lives of its ordinary citizens, he said: “Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people uprooted from their homes. The war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.”
In his concluding remarks PM Khan said that instead of making “Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 1,40,000 NATO troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before.”
He ended his statement by asking Trump is he could “name another ally that gave such sacrifices”.
US President Trump then responded to the prime minister saying, “Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan billions of dollars and they never told us he was living there. Fools!”
He further claimed that “We no longer pay Pakistan the $billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!”
In an interview with Fox News aired on November 18, Trump justified the cancelation of $300 million in military aid to Pakistan by saying that “We’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year — which we don’t give them any more, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”
Talking about slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who was found hiding in Pakistan, a short distance away from the country’s prestigious military academy, Trump added that “everybody in Pakistan knew he was there”.
Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari, issued a statement on Monday terming “Trump’s tirade against Pakistan” a lesson for all those Pakistani leaders “who kept appeasing the US especially after 9/11!”
She added that the “loss of Pakistani lives in the US war on terror, the free space for Raymond Davis and other operatives, the illegal killings by drone attacks — the list is endless…once again history shows appeasement does not work”.
“Whether China or Iran, the US policies of containment and isolation do not coincide with Pakistan’s strategic interests,” she said.
Former Senate Chairman, Raza Rabbani, termed Trump’s remarks “contrary to the facts” and reminded the US president that his “language regarding a sovereign state was aggressive”.
“He should be careful; Pakistan is not a state or colony of the US,” Rabbani said, further reminding Trump that “the US killed Pakistanis in unauthorized drone attacks, the US-sponsored terrorism in Kabul, and a drug industry was created on the Pak-Afghan border for the financial assistance of the US”.
“The Pakistani nation is paying the price of political and economic instability due to its alliance with the US,” he said.
Former Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, also took to Twitter to rebuff the US president’s remarks saying, “We continue to pay in blood for what we did for the USA.”
In a tweet, that was later deleted, from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s official twitter account, the party claimed the American government “is having an extremely hard time accepting the fact that the current Government of Pakistan being led by @ImranKhanPTI will not accept the terms and conditions they want to enforce on Pakistan; Wake up! #PMIKSaysNoMore”
The already strained relations between the United States and Pakistan took another dip in January this year when Trump suspended security assistance to Islamabad over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Pakistan’s tribal belt — a claim rejected by Islamabad.