Donald Trump singing India's tune, says Pakistan

US President Donald Trump. Reuters file

US President Donald Trump. Reuters file

State department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her daily briefing that Pakistan needs "to earn, essentially, the money we have provided in the past in foreign military assistance, they need to show that they are honest in their efforts to crack down on terrorists".

Reuters quoted congressional sources on January 3 as saying the announcement could come later that day or on January 4.

The New York Times reported last week that the Trump administration had been considering withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan to demonstrate its dissatisfaction with how they confront terrorism in their country. But Mr. Trump was telling the truth, and raising the public pressure on Pakistan forces an important issue. "They support our view and are standing with us", said a senior official at the foreign ministry who remains in contact with Moscow. "That game is not acceptable to this administration". "And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan".

Pakistan's defense ministry hit back at the president, tweeting the country has received "invective & mistrust" from the U.S.

The statement said "blaming allies certainly does not serve the shared objective of achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region".

Pakistan's top military and national security leaders called an emergency meeting of the country's National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, to publicly condemn the USA actions.

The prime minister's statement said the real challenges in Afghanistan were political infighting, massive corruption, phenomenal growth of drug production, and the expansion of ungoverned spaces inside Afghanistan full of sanctuaries for multiple worldwide terrorist organizations that pose a direct threat to Afghanistan, its neighbors, and the region.

Pakistan has cooperated with the USA for decades on regional security issues, but Trump is correct that the country does not always follow instructions from the US when it comes to foreign policy, especially if its own national security is at stake, an expert said.

Reacting to US President Donald Trumps "lies and deceit" comments, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday said he "is singing Indias tune" and that the Islambad's civil and military leaderships were on the same page.

The administration already had delayed sending the aid in August.

Former Afghan prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said on Friday that the cause of the United States anger is not lack of cooperation from Pakistan but the formation of a hostile front against the US.

Asif added that all financial aid from the United States had been "properly audited" and that "services [were] rendered".

Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan's ambassador in Washington, said in a tweet on Monday that Trump's tweet was a "promising message to Afghans who have suffered at the hands of terrorists based in Pakistan for far too long".

"They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. We have two big powers with us as Washington attempts to pressurise Pakistan ".

Thousands of US and coalition forces in Afghanistan still rely mostly on ground and air routes through neighboring Pakistan for receiving vital supplies. "The global community should acknowledge that", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters here on Tuesday.

"The worldwide community should fully recognize this", he added. Nauert said that despite sustained high-level engagement with Pakistan's government, "the Taliban and Haqqani network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilize Afghanistan and attack USA and allied personnel".

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