Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

After Trump threatens to cut aid to Pak, India says stand vindicated

After Trump threatens to cut aid to Pak, India says stand vindicated

"The U.S. president's remarks about $33 billion in aid reflect his immaturity and narrow-mindedness; the entire nation should demonstrate that we stand united to foil any designs against Pakistan", he said. "They have always betrayed us in hard times".

Asif's comment is the latest effort by Pakistan to counter Trump's criticism. The foreign ministry Monday night summoned the U.S. Ambassador to protest and seek an explanation.

Speaking during a meeting here on Thursday of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, the Foreign Minister said the Trump administration disregarded the facts presented by Pakistan about the situation in Afghanistan.

Shah reportedly called for Pakistan to review its relationship with the United States.

Pakistan has "contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting global terrorism", alleged Lodhi, noting that Islamabad's role in the war against jihadist groups is not contingent upon USA aid but, rather, "national interests and principles". It was in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where Usama bin Laden hid until U.S. Navy SEALS killed him in 2011.

"There are considerable risks for the USA because Pakistan could retaliate in ways that would be very problematic for US regional interests", he said, such as curtailing intelligence co-operation and USA supply lines into Afghanistan. Analysts still rule out a complete breakdown in relations between Islamabad and Washington. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis. Last week, Pakistan's military warned the USA against taking unilateral action against armed groups within its borders, fueling more concerns that Trump's approach is only stoking tensions with a country that is generally a useful ally.

Shah, the opposition leader, indicated that "Pakistan had paid a heavy price for allying itself with the USA since 1979".

Describing Pakistan as an independent nuclear power, the defense minister said it was not possible for Washington to dictate terms to Islamabad by withholding aid, and warned the U.S. against any attempt to bring the war in Afghanistan to Pakistan's soil.

Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan's ambassador in Washington, said in a tweet on Monday that Trump's tweet was a "promising message to Afghans who have suffered at the hands of terrorists based in Pakistan for far too long". Asif insisted that Trump "can hire a USA based Audit firm on our expense to verify this figure & let the world know who is lying & deceiving".

The former diplomat who hosted Trump as the candidate for his first major foreign policy speech called for suspension of economic assistance to Pakistan, holding Pakistan accountable before regional and worldwide organizations in association with India and Afghanistan.

"Trump is not the first president to be frustrated by Pakistan".

"We shall take all decisions in this regard taking into account our national interests", he said.

The news agency cited two congressional aides as saying the USA administration has been informing members of Congress that it will announce plans to cut off "security assistance" to Pakistan, although it was not clear how much or what type of assistance would be cut or for how long.

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