Pakistan Summons U.S. Envoy over Trump Criticism for ‘Doing Nothing’ on Terrorism

WASHINGTON, USA - SEPTEMBER 9: Candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination Donald Trump waits to speak at a rally held by the Tea Party at the United States Capitol to speak out against President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran in Washington, USA on September 9, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu …
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The administration of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday summoned the U.S. envoy in Islamabad to register a strong protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s assertion that the country has failed to take decisive action against radical Islam.

On Monday evening, Trump triggered a Twitter spat with Khan when he reiterated the accusation made during a Fox News interview a day earlier that Pakistan is “doing nothing” for the United States despite receiving “billions of dollars” in U.S. taxpayer-funded aid.

Trump wrote on Twitter, “We no longer pay Pakistan billions of dollars because they would take our money and do nothing for us. Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ending!”

During the Fox News interview, Trump blasted Pakistan as “fools,” accusing the Muslim country of sheltering al-Qaeda founder and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. troops in 2011 while he was hiding not far from Pakistan’s top military academy in Abbottabad.

Now, the Express Tribune reports:

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Tuesday summoned the US envoy Paul Jones at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad to register a strong protest on “unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations” made against Pakistan by US President Donald Trump.

Conveying her government’s disappointment, the US envoy was told that “such baseless rhetoric about Pakistan was totally unacceptable”.

Citing a statement from the foreign secretary, Dawn notes that Janjua rejected Trump’s insinuations about Osama bin Laden and reminded the U.S. envoy that it was Pakistan’s intelligence cooperation that provided the “initial evidence to trace the whereabouts of bin Laden.”

However, a report by a commission formed by Islamabad in the aftermath of the Bin Laden’s execution revealed that a “collective failure” by the Pakistani state military and intelligence authorities allowed bin Laden to hide in Pakistan for nine years.

“The report, obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, also outlines how ‘routine’ incompetence at every level of civil governance structure allowed the once world’s most wanted man to move to six different locations within the country,” according to the news outlet.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa defended Pakistan’s record on fighting terrorism.

Via Twitter, Pakistani Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Pakistani military, quoted Bajwa as saying:

Pakistan has successfully fought against terrorism while also contributing to regional peace. Pakistan has done much more for peace in Afghanistan than any other country … We have paid the highest military, economic, political and social cost and the world should acknowledge that. We shall continue to contribute towards peace in Afghanistan but Pakistan’s honor and Pakistan’s security shall always stay premier.

This week, Trump continued to defend his administration’s move to cancel financial aid to Pakistan over its reluctance to take decisive action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network operating from Pakistani soil.

Last week, Nathan Sales, the top counterterrorism official at the U.S. State Department, told lawmakers that Pakistan continues to resist taking action against terrorist groups threatening American troops in Afghanistan.

“I can tell you we have communicated to the Pakistani government at the highest levels that we expect them to do more just like we expected them to act with us after 9/11,” Sales said last Wednesday.

“Pakistan has in the past been a very effective counterpart in taking the fight to Al Qaeda. We need them to do the same thing with respect to the Haqqanis, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the other terrorist groups that are active in the region,” he also declared, adding that Islamabad “certainly needs to do more” in the fight against terrorism.

Col. Rob Manning, a top Pentagon spokesman, told reporters after President Trump’s accusations, “The U.S. and Pakistan have strong mutual interests in the region. As you know, they are critical (and) vital to the South Asia strategy and including the facilitation of a peace process that would lead to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.”

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