The US has made it clear to Pakistani leaders that it expects them to constructively address the problem of militant safe havens in the country, the White House said after President Donald Trump and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan faced off over the issue that has impacted bilateral ties.
Trump accused Pakistan of not doing “a damn thing” for the US. He cited Osama bin Laden and the Taliban resurgence in neighbouring Afghanistan as examples of how Pakistan would “take our money and do nothing for us”.
Khan reacted angrily by saying that his country had suffered enough by fighting terrorism on behalf of the United States.“Now we will do what is best for our people and our interests,” the cricketer-turned politician said on Twitter. The White House defended Trump’s decision to suspend security assistance to Pakistan.
“The (Trump) Administration has been clear to Pakistani leaders that it expects them to constructively address the problem of militant safe havens in Pakistan,” an official from the National Security Council, the White House, said.
The relationship between the US and Pakistan has always been tenuous, but tensions have increased since Trump’s election. In January this year, the US government announced it was cutting almost all security aid to the country.
Trump’s latest criticism has further deteriorated the US-Pak relationship.Senator Rand Paul, who has for the last several years sought to cut all assistance to Pakistan, supported Trump’s decision. “I agree completely. That’s why we should push hard on Pakistan to let persecuted Christian Asia Bibi find asylum in America,” he said retweeting Trump’s posts.