Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Tuesday summoned a senior United States diplomat in Islamabad to protest against President Donald Trump’s “unnecessary and baseless” allegations against the country, Geo TV reported.
Trump in an interview on Sunday defended his administration’s decision to stop millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan for not doing enough to fight terrorism. He also criticised the country for allegedly offering al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden a hideout in Abbottabad.
A day later, he reiterated his stand on Pakistan. “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,” he tweeted. “They were just one of the many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!”
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned Ambassador Paul Jones and handed him a letter of protest. “The Foreign Secretary called in the US CdA [Charge d’affaires] Ambassador Paul Jones to register a strong protest on the unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations made against Pakistan,” the Foreign Office said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“US should not forget that al Qaeda’s top leadership was caught or killed owing to Pakistan’s cooperation,” the statement said. “The US also acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in capturing al Qaeda leadership,” it said, adding that “baseless statements” against Pakistan are not acceptable.
On Monday, the Pentagon said Pakistan remains a critical partner to US’s South Asia strategy and there has been no change in its relationship with Pakistan, PTI reported.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, however, said the US president’s “false assertions add insult to the injury Pakistan has suffered in US WoT [war on terror]”. “He needs to be informed abt [about] historical facts,” Khan tweeted. “Pak [Pakistan] has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people [and] our interests.”