Pakistan to Take 'Tough Stance' Against Trump If Aid Revoked

06 January, 2018, 02:51 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Pak FM meets PM after Trump's remarks on aid

"In terms of specific actions, I think you'll see some more details come out on that in the next 24 to 48 hours", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said during the daily briefing.

The Haqqani Network operates in Afghanistan from safe havens across the border in Pakistan, targeting US-led worldwide coalition forces.

Responding to the questions put to her by reporters following US Ambassador Nikki Haley's scathing remarks about Pakistan at the United Nations, she said Pakistan could review its cooperation with Washington if it was not appreciated.

"Pakistan has played a double game for years", Haley said. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in a tweet challenged Trump's claim that the USA has given Pakistan more than USD 33 billion dollars as aid over the last 15 years, saying verification by an audit firm would prove the United States president wrong. "The President is simply following through on a commitment that he made, because this is a President that does what he says he's going to do".

Speaking earlier with BBC Urdu, Khan said Washington ought to "prefer" cooperation over confrontation, noting that half of Pakistan's airspace and land routes were still open to the United States - and without them, its ability to operate in Afghanistan would be greatly diminished.

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Since becoming president, Trumpmade a mockery of Pakistan in an Islamic summit in Riyadh, issued a damning Afghanistan policy, and announced that Washington has put Islamabad "on notice".

Pakistan's National Security Committee, a body that deals with defense issues, said the US criticism stemmed from Washington's failure to win its 16-year war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and that Pakistan "cannot be held responsible for the collective failure in Afghanistan".

"China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, and Iran expressed complete solidarity with us after August 21 speech of US President Trump", he said.

The two countries, he added, maintain an "all-weather strategic partnership" and China intends to further deepen its cooperation with Pakistan in all fields.

At the State Department on Tuesday, spokesman Heather Nauert said Pakistan knows what it needs to do, including taking action against the Haqqani network and other militants.

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But that's precisely what Trump's tweet has allowed Islamabad to do: tout the lost lives as entirely Washington's doing, and point to the shared "land and air spaces" along with "military intel" in the War on Terror, while simultaneously claiming that Pakistan should never have entered the war to begin with.

Asif declared that USA have suffered huge losses in Afghanistan.

"[Trump's tweet] is a positive message for us, should USA pressure on Pakistan increase", Mohib added. "If the USA escalates in kinetic terms with drone strikes outside the established zones, Pakistan can escalate in kind and attempt to shoot down some drones", said Mr. Lalwani.

Furthermore, with Trump already being accused of stoking fires in the Middle East with his decision to move the us embassy to Jerusalem, the USA president will now be the convenient fall guy for any anomalous hike in violence around the perpetually volatile Af-Pak border. "It is natural for us to enhance communication and exchanges", Geng said. Islamabad had for months suspended the lines of communications in 2011 to protest USA bombings of Pakistani border posts that killed 24 soldiers.

Hussain added that Trump's comments demonstrate "U.S. frustration at not achieving any stability in Afghanistan after more than 16 years of conflict".

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