Pakistan has summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest President Donald Trump’s tweets accusing Islamabad of sheltering terrorists who are battling U.S. forces in neighboring Afghanistan.
A spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Islamabad says David Hale was summoned to the foreign ministry Monday night to discuss Trump’s New Year’s Day tweet.
In his first tweet of 2018, the president angrily said the U.S. has “foolishly” given Pakistan over 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and had gotten “nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump said at the end of his tweet.
Washington has long accused Pakistan, especially its security institutions, of turning a blind eye or covertly helping the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani terrorist network to stage cross-border attacks against Afghan and U.S.-led forces.
Islamabad denies allegations it is harboring Afghan insurgents and instead complains anti-state militants are using the neighboring country for terrorist attacks against Pakistan.
Responding to President Trump with his own tweet, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Monday his country “will let the world know the truth…difference between facts and fiction.”
Pakistan’s National Security Committee, comprised of the country’s top civilian and military leadership, will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the situation in the aftermath of Trump’s tweet.
President Trump unveiled his new South Asia policy last August, in which Pakistan was blamed for providing “safe haven” to terrorists.
The administration also announced at the time that it was freezing $255 million in military assistance until Pakistan cracks down on extremists.