Pakistan PM summons cabinet, security meet over Trump tweet
Islamabad, Jan 2 (IANS) The Pakistan civil and military leadership is to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday over US President Donald Trumps tweet that accused Islamabad of “lies and deceit”.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will chair the huddle to discuss the future course of action, the media wing of the PM’s Office said.
The meeting will be attended by Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, Minister for Defence, services chiefs besides, senior civil and military officers.
Trump on Monday accused Pakistan of giving safe haven to the militants that US hunts in Afghanistan, saying: “The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit.
“They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
After the tweet, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said: “We will respond to President Trump’s tweet shortly… Will let the world know the truth… Difference between facts and fiction.”
This comes after the US administration was considering whether to withhold $255 million in aid to Pakistan as it feels Islamabad was not doing enough to counter terrorism.
Trump’s senior administration officials met last month to decide what to do about the money. American officials said a final decision could be made in the coming weeks.
The latest move comes after the US has been denied access to a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network who is in Pakistan’s custody.
According to the New York Times, the Haqqani member was one of the abductors who held an American and Canadian, along with their three children, hostage for five years.
US officials told the daily that the Americans demanded access to the man who they feel might have valuable information about the whereabouts of at least one other American hostage.
But Pakistani officials rejected the requests.
Trump has in the past threatened to withhold the aid to Pakistan as Washington accuses Islamabad of failure in cooperating on counterterrorism efforts.