The National Security Committee reached on Tuesday a consensus that Pakistan would not act in haste in the wake of Donald Trump’s scathing tweet, and would remain committed towards an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace process.
The country’s top civil and military leadership met in Islamabad to decide the future course of action after the US president’s statement that Pakistan had given nothing but “lies and deceit” to the US in the last 15 years.
In a 50 word tweet, Trump stated: “The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us 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!”
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
The conflict that began in October 2001 as a hunt for the 9/11 attackers has turned into a vexed effort to keep Afghanistan’s divided and corruption-hindered democracy alive amid a brutal Taliban insurgency.
According to a statement following the high-level huddle, the leadership said that rather than blame game, the real challenges in Afghanistan should be addressed, which were political infighting, massive corruption and presence of terror sanctuaries for multiple international terrorist organisations, which posed a serious and direct threat to Afghanistan, its neighbours and the entire region.
The committee observed that Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the collective failure in Afghanistan and that blaming allies certainly does not serve the shared objective of achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region.
Noting its deep disappointment with the recent statements by the American leadership, the top brass said that Pakistan was firmly supporting the US-led international effort in Afghanistan, which helped decimate al Qaeda from the region.
The NSC observed that Trump’s statement was incomprehensible as they contradicted facts, and negated the decades of sacrifices, including a great cost to its economy, and the loss of tens of thousands of lives of civilians and security personnel, made by the Pakistani nation.
Pakistan has time and again rejected the US notion of ‘do more’, saying it had done enough and could not do more for anyone.
In August this year, Trump cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan, backtracking from his promise to swiftly end America’s longest-ever war, while pillorying ally Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos.”
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