ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan fired back at Donald Trump, saying the US president’s “false assertions add insult to injury Pakistan has suffered in the US War on Terror.”
The prime minister’s latest tweet was in response to Trump taking to Twitter and alleging that Pakistan was one of the many countries that took from the United States without giving anything in return.
“Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury Pak has suffered in US WoT in terms of lives lost & destabilised & economic costs. He needs to be informed about historical facts,” the prime minister tweeted.
“Pak has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people & our interests,” he said.
“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,” the US president said in a series of tweets.
The US had “paid Pakistan billions of dollars and they never informed us he [Osama bin Laden] was living there,” he said, adding that the US should have captured Osama bin Laden long before the 2011 Abbottabad raid.
“I pointed him out in my book just before the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot,” Trump said in his tweets.
PM Imran sets the record straight
In his earlier tweets in response to Trump’s interview, the prime minister gave examples to the US president, saying the “record needs to be put straight on Mr Trump’s tirade against Pakistan”.
1. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pakistan decided to participate in US War on Terror.
2. Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost to the economy. US “aid” was a minuscule $20 billion.
3. Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people uprooted from their homes. This war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.
4. Pakistan continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications (GLOCs/ALOCs).
Prime Minister Khan in his tweet also called on the US president to name another ally that had given such great sacrifices.
The prime minister also called on the US to stop making Pakistan the scapegoat and “do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 NATO troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before.”
In an earlier interview, Trump alleged that Pakistan does “not do a damn thing” for the United States and accused Islamabad of helping Osama bin Laden hide there.
“You know, living – think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer,” Trump said, referring to bin Laden and his former compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The compound was demolished shortly after United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group forces killed bin Laden there in a late-night helicopter raid in 2011.
“But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” he added. “And we give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year. … [bin Laden] lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year — which we don’t give them anymore, by the way. I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”
‘Should be a lesson for Pakistani leaders who appeased Trump’
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said Trump’s statement should be a lesson for those Pakistani leaders who kept appeasing the US especially after September 11. Mazari went on to give examples of the appeasement such as the loss of Pakistani lives in the US war on terror, free space to Raymond Davis and other operatives and illegal killings by drone attacks.
“Also, whether China or Iran, US policies on containment and isolation do not coincide with Pakistan’s strategic interests,” Mazari added.
Pakistan continues ‘to pay in blood’
Former defence minister Khawaja Asif in his response to Trump said, “We continue to play in blood for what we did for USA from Badaber to fighting wars which weren’t ours.”
“Reinvented our religion to suit US interests, destroyed our tolerant ethos, replaced it with bigotry and intolerance. A relationship of betrayals and sanctions,” Asif asserted.