Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday delivered a scathing reply to US President Donald Trump’s “Pakistan does not do a damn thing” statement and said the country received “minuscule” aid of $20 billion from the US for the country’s contribution to the ongoing war on terror.
Asking the US president to do a serious assessment of the situation in Afghanistan, the premier said after deploying at least 140,000 troops supported by 250,000 Afghan troops and spending $1 trillion, the “[Afghan] Taliban today are stronger than before”.
Elaborating further, the PM Imran ‘set the record straight’ and reminded Trump that no Pakistani national was involved in the 9/11 attacks, yet the country decided to participate in the US-led war on terror. He added that the country suffered 75,000 casualties and the economy suffered over $123 billion in losses.
Referring to the heavy cost paid in the now 17-year-old conflict – which shows no signs of winding down – the premier said the tribal areas of the country were devastated and millions were uprooted from their homes and became refugees in their own country.
Prime minister Imran, reminding Trump of the country’s contributions, said the country continues to provide free ground lines of communications (GLOCs) and airlines of communications (ALOCs).
In his interview with Fox News, Trump claimed that Islamabad had helped al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide near the garrison city.
Host Chris Wallace asked Trump: “Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?”
“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. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” Trump said, referring to bin Laden and his former compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
“You’re not even going to give them credit for taking down bin Laden?” Wallace asked.
“They took him down but — look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them any more, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us,” Trump responded.
The compound was destroyed shortly after the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group forces, in a helicopter raid, killed bin Laden in 2011.
The United States has already cancelled $300 million in aid to Pakistan for its lack of decisive action against militant groups.
The cancellation of aid is part of President Trump’s New Year tweet in which he launched a scathing criticism against Pakistan for “betraying” the US.