World

Pakistan, US at crossroad following Trump's fresh accusations

Pakistan, US at crossroad following Trump's fresh accusations

On Monday, Trump tweeted the US had "foolishly" given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had gotten nothing in return but "lies & deceit".

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. He reiterated that Pakistan will not compromise on its territorial integrity at any cost and that while the country is ready to resolve issues via bilateral means, it will not do so at the stake prestige.

However, China gave Islamabad its backing, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying that Pakistan "has made a prominent contribution to global antiterror efforts".

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday said that Pakistan can survive without taking aid from the United States as it survived in the past [when U.S. had suspended assistance to Pakistan].

"There is a nexus between the United States and India, they share the same stakes", Asif said, adding that "the U.S. wants to use India like they used Pakistan in the past, or maybe a step further".

According to the Express Tribune, Pakistan has already chose to reconsider its ties to the United States and "adopt a tough stance" following Trump's comments.

In the last four years, Asif said, we have been forced to deal with the mess left behind in Afghanistan for so many decades.

Washington has long accused Pakistan, especially its security institutions, of turning ignoring or covertly helping the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani terrorist network to stage cross-border attacks against Afghan and USA -led forces.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told local Geo TV Wednesday that the country would like to continue working with the US but will not "compromise on national interests and prestige".

Trump's tirade has given new life to Pakistan's victim narrative in the War on Terror, which is centered around ridding Islamabad of any responsibility in the post 9/11 violence in South Asia, and pinning the entire blame on the United States, India, and Afghanistan - in that order.

Pakistan simply could not have asked for anything better.

Sources told Hindustan Times that the cuts are likely to be in the nature of "suspension" and the amount could be foreign military financing (FMF), a security-related assistance, same as the $255 million the White House said past week it will not be processing for Pakistan.

"So I think it would be prudent and wise for the diplomats to try to patch this up as soon as possible, and not to push Pakistan into arms of other regional powers, who are quite willing and able to take Pakistan on board", he said.

"We have already told the USA that we will not do more, so Trump's "no more" does not hold any importance ..."

"There are considerable risks for the US because Pakistan could retaliate in ways that would be very problematic for USA regional interests", he said, such as curtailing intelligence co-operation and USA supply lines into Afghanistan. "It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists", he had stressed, adding that Trump has "put Pakistan on notice for providing safe haven" to the terrorists on its soil.

"So the strategy should be to really reinforce those elements that America stands for and promotes and President Trump [also] believes in-good governance, accountability, lack of corruption".

Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan echoed Asif's defiant tone during an interview on Thursday, vowing a "cold-blooded response" to Washington's stated intention to withhold $255 million in aid to Pakistan, as cited by RIA Novosti.


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