New Delhi: India welcomed US President Donald Trump’s tough message to Pakistan on terrorism, saying that “our stand is vindicated as far as the role of Pakistan is concerned in perpetrating terrorism”. Trump ripped into Pakistan on Monday, declaring on Twitter that US had for years “foolishly” given aid to Islamabad that provided “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan”.
“The Trump administration decision has abundantly vindicated India’s stand as far as terror is concerned as far as the role of Pakistan is concerned in perpetrating terrorism because end of the day terrorist is a terrorist… terror is terror and it does not spare any single nation, any single country, any single region,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said.
In his first tweet of the new year on Monday, the US President said the US had “foolishly” given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, “and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he said.
Pakistan Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan angrily responded to President Trump’s tweet, saying that as an “anti-terror ally” of the US, Pakistan had given Washington land and air communication, military bases and intelligence cooperation that “decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs” while America “has given us nothing but invective& mistrust.”
Later, according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned the US Ambassador but there was no word from the foreign office on the agenda of this sudden meeting.
Hours after the Trump’s tweet, the US suspended its $255 million military aid to Pakistan, saying the fate of such assistance will depend on Islamabad’s response to terrorism on its soil.
“The United States does not plan to spend the USD 255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time,” a senior White House official told PTI.
Amid tense exchanges, Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has reportedly summoned a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday to discuss the future course of action after the Trump administration’s move.
The US President’s statement followed days of speculation that the Trump administration – dissatisfied with the way Pakistan has dealt with the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network and other terrorist groups – was set to dramatically reduce aid to Islamabad, long a key partner in the region.
And in late December, Vice President Mike Pence told American troops during a visit to Afghanistan, “President Trump has put Pakistan on notice.”