ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir, in response to US President Donald Trump’s tweet, has said that it was Pakistan’s mistake to provide bases to the US and that Pakistan is fully capable of defending its motherland.
The jawans of Pakistan Armed Forces and civilians have given great sacrifices in the war against terrorism, he told a private news channel after Trump lashed out at Pakistan with threats to cut aid over “lies” about militancy.
Commenting on the tweet, Dastagir said Pakistan had extended unprecedented cooperation to the United States for eliminating Al-Qaeda from its soil and Afghanistan, besides fighting the war against terrorism. Pakistan does not have any safe havens for terrorists, he said.
The terrorists from Afghanistan have targeted our armed forces and civilians due to which Pakistan has had to suffer a lot, the Defence Minister said. He made it clear that Afghanistan’s war would not be fought from the soil of Pakistan.
Dastagir said that Pakistan could gain nothing from the US Pakistan has had to face huge economic losses due to fighting the war against terrorism, he added.
Trump on Monday threatened to cut aid to Pakistan after accusing the country of giving nothing in return except for “lies and deceit”.
In a tweet on New Year’s Day, he claimed that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan over $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.
Trump also accused Pakistan of thinking US leaders to be fools. “They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Trump’s tweet drew a strong reaction from Pakistan. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan has already refused to ‘do more’ for the United States.
“We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance,” Asif told Geo News.
“Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the US aid that it has received,” Asif added.