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Pakistan PM calls security meet as US suspends $255-million military aid

January 3, 2018

Islamabad :Pakistan’s prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will meet senior ministers and officials over the next two days to discuss its response to US president Donald Trump’s remarks that America “foolishly” handed Islamabad billions of dollars in aid over the last 15 years and got “nothing but lies and deceit”.

Radio Pakistan reported that Abbasi would preside over a meeting of the federal cabinet on Tuesday, which will discuss among other things, the national security issue.

New agency Press Trust of India cited unnamed official sources as saying that Trump’s remarks would be the main point of discussion in the meeting.

The cabinet meeting will be followed by the meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday. Abbasi will chair the NSC meet which will review the security situation of the country and the region in detail.

The prime minister will chair the huddle to discuss the future course of action following the United States president’s scathing statement against Pakistan, a statement from Abbasi’s office said.

The meeting will be attended by foreign minister Khawaja Asif, interior minister Ahsan Iqbal, defence minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan, services chiefs and senior civil and military officers.

Trump tweeted that the US “foolishly” gave aid to Pakistan over the course of 15 years but Islamabad remained deceitful by providing safe havens to “terrorists” from Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s defence ministry fired back within hours of Trump’s comments alleging that it has got “nothing but invective and mistrust” for all the actions it took in support of America’s war against terrorism.

“Pak as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis,” the Pakistan defence ministry tweeted.

Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Asif also met Abbasi after Trump’s accusations, a media report said.

“The meeting held a detailed review of the Trump’s statement,” the Geo TV reported citing its sources.

It said the two leaders also discussed the country’s foreign policy.

“We will respond to President Trump’s tweet shortly inshallah… Will let the world know the truth… difference between facts and fiction..,” Asif also tweeted.

“We have already refused to the US mantra of ‘do more’ for it (US). We have told the Trump administration that we will not do ‘no more’ for it. The ‘do more’ does not hold any importance. Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the US aid that it has received over the last 15 years,” the minister said.

Pakistan Peoples Party senator Sherry Rehman tweeted that the “coalition support funds has never been counted as AID in any accounting by Pakistan, nor will it be seen as part of assistance”.

“It was compensation on expenses incurred on joint action on border. Other ‘Aid’ we should indeed talk about, because Pakistan never charged for NATO traffic,” she said.

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