Pakistan PM Abbasi chairs security meet over Trump tweet
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Tuesday to discuss US President Donald Trump’s move to cut all further aid to Islamabad on charges of harbouring terrorists.
The high-level meeting, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, was attended by the country’s civilian and military leadership. Pakistan is expected to issue a response to Washington following the meeting, Geo News reported.
In his first tweet of 2018, Trump accused Pakistan of basing its relationship with the US on “nothing but lies and deceit”.
“The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit.
“They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!, Trump tweeted on Monday.
According to reports, the NSC meeting was expected to be briefed by the Foreign Ministry on Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts while the Director General Military Operations will detail the efforts taken in the fight against terrorism.
Pakistan’s Ambassador the US Aizaz Chaudhry also arrived in Pakistan to attend the meeting.
On Monday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned US Ambassador David Hale to record a protest over Trump’s tweet.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, replying to the President’s tweet, said Pakistan would let the world know the truth. “There is a difference between facts and fiction.”
Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir said Pakistan had extended unprecedented cooperation to the US to eliminate Al Qaeda from its soil and Afghanistan besides fighting the war against terror.
“Pakistan does not have any safe havens for terrorists”, he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan accused Trump of “working on the agenda of Pakistan’s enemies”.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a series of tweets said “the US was no longer interested in defeating terrorism”.
Washington’s latest move comes after the US was denied access to a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in Pakistani custody.
According to the New York Times, the Haqqani member was one of the abductors who held an American and Canadian, along with their three children, hostage for five years.
US officials told the daily that the Americans demanded access to the man who they feel might have valuable information about the whereabouts of at least one other American hostage.
But Pakistani officials rejected the requests.