Responding to the United States President Donald Trump’s remarks on Islamabad while rolling out the new policy for Afghanistan, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership on Thursday said scapegoating them will not help stabilise the war-ravaged country.
In a clear ultimatum to Islamabad, Trump said Pakistan had to change its “double game” policy or face the consequences.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson then explained that Washington may revoke Pakistan’s major non-NATO ally status as well as possibly cutting military aid and other assistance, if it continues to provide shelter to the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network.
Pakistan said claims of billions of dollars in aid to Islamabad by the U.S. were misleading as they were actually partial reimbursements for part of the cost of ground facilities and use of air corridors by the Washington for its operations in Afghanistan, rather than financial aid or assistance.
The statement came after a meeting of Pakistan’s National Security Committee, presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and attended by the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, and finance, the three services chiefs, and the head of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
Earlier, speaking from the Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Va., Trump had said that Pakistani people have suffered from terror, but at same time, it has been safe haven for terrorists too.”
The U.S. President singled out Pakistan for supporting what he called “agents of chaos”.
He added, “We have been paying Pakistan billions of dollars and the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. No partnership can survive if a country is harbouring militants and terrorist to target U.S. service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization and peace.”