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Pakistan already refused to ‘do more’ for USA: Khawaja Asif

02 January, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, in response to a tweet by US President Donald Trump, said that Pakistan has already refused to ‘do more’ for the United States.

“We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance,” Asif told a private TV channel.”Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the US aid that it has received,” Asif said in a strongly worded statement in response to Trump’s tweet accusing Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists that US was hunting in Afghanistan.

“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 said in a tweet on Monday. Regarding the US President’s claims of giving billions in aid to Pakistan, he said, “The claim by Trump regarding the funds, if we account for it, they include reimbursements too for the services rendered by Pakistan.

Our land, roads, rail and other different kinds of services were used for which we were reimbursed. A proper audit took place for the reimbursements,” he said. The minister said Trump was disappointed at the US defeat in Afghanistan and that was the only reason he was flinging accusations at Pakistan. He also spoke against the US military presence in Afghanistan, stating that peaceful negotiations are the only possible solution in the neighbouring country.”They (US) are reinforcing their failure in Afghanistan by extending their military presence but only a peaceful solution is possible,” he said. “It [US] should, instead, try to negotiate with Taliban in Afghanistan.” Former foreign minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, “Pakistan has to move forward taking into account its own interests, irrespective of whether it gets US aid or not.”He added that Pakistan needs to look to regional powers like China, Iran, Turkey and even the European Union who understand regional situation and Pakistan’s position much better.

Although Pakistan has presented its narrative time and again, there is a lot of room for its improvement, Qureshi said. “US allies can be taken into confidence, but that is not happening,” he said, adding, “Unfortunately the challenges Pakistan faces – national or international – are not being addressed.” He also criticised the delay in government’s response on the situation, saying Trump’s statement should have been preempted. He also criticised Trump’s use of Twitter on a matter as serious as foreign affairs.

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