PM Khan launches scathing attack on Trump after his “tirade”

Khan lashed out at US President Donald Trump following his remarks that Pakistan doesn’t “do a damn thing” for the United States despite billions of dollars in US aid for the South Asian nation. (Faisal Mahmood/REUTERS)
Updated 19 November 2018
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PM Khan launches scathing attack on Trump after his “tirade”

ISLAMABAD: After US President Donald Trump responded to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet claiming that Pakistan is among many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return, PM Khan, on Monday, fired back saying Trump’s false assertions only add insult to injury and that Pakistan will now do what is best for its own interest.

“Trump’s false assertions add insult to the injury Pakistan has suffered in the US War on Terror in terms of lives lost and destabilized economic costs. He needs to be informed about historical facts. Pakistan has suffered enough fighting US’s war. Now we will do what is best for our people and our interests,” tweeted PM Khan.

A day after US President Donald Trump claimed that Pakistan does not do “a damn thing” for Washington, PM Khan took to Twitter to set the record straight by telling him to quit using Islamabad as a “scapegoat” in his “tirade” against the country.

In a four-point tweet, Khan explained why Trump’s comments were unjustified, reasoning that “No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pakistan decided to participate in the US war on terror” nevertheless.

He added that while Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in the war and incurred losses of more than  $123 billion to the economy, the aid provided by the US was “a minuscule $20 billion”.

Elaborating on the catastrophic effect that the war on terror had on Pakistan’s tribal region and on the lives of its ordinary citizens, he said: “Our tribal areas were devastated and millions of people uprooted from their homes. The war drastically impacted the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.”

In his concluding remarks PM Khan said that instead of making “Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 1,40,000 NATO troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before.”

He ended his statement by asking Trump is he could “name another ally that gave such sacrifices”.

US President Trump then responded to the prime minister saying, “Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan billions of dollars and they never told us he was living there. Fools!”

He further claimed that “We no longer pay Pakistan the $billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!”

In an interview with Fox News aired on November 18, Trump justified the cancelation of $300 million in military aid to Pakistan by saying that “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.”

Talking about slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who was found hiding in Pakistan, a short distance away from the country’s prestigious military academy, Trump added that “everybody in Pakistan knew he was there”.

Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari, issued a statement on Monday terming “Trump’s tirade against Pakistan” a lesson for all those Pakistani leaders “who kept appeasing the US especially after 9/11!”

She added that the “loss of Pakistani lives in the US war on terror, the free space for Raymond Davis and other operatives, the illegal killings by drone attacks — the list is endless…once again history shows appeasement does not work”.

“Whether China or Iran, the US policies of containment and isolation do not coincide with Pakistan’s strategic interests,” she said.

Former Senate Chairman, Raza Rabbani, termed Trump’s remarks “contrary to the facts” and reminded the US president that his “language regarding a sovereign state was aggressive”.

“He should be careful; Pakistan is not a state or colony of the US,” Rabbani said, further reminding Trump that “the US killed Pakistanis in unauthorized drone attacks, the US-sponsored terrorism in Kabul, and a drug industry was created on the Pak-Afghan border for the financial assistance of the US”.

“The Pakistani nation is paying the price of political and economic instability due to its alliance with the US,” he said.

Former Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, also took to Twitter to rebuff the US president’s remarks saying, “We continue to pay in blood for what we did for the USA.”

In a tweet, that was later deleted, from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s official twitter account, the party claimed the American government “is having an extremely hard time accepting the fact that the current Government of Pakistan being led by @ImranKhanPTI will not accept the terms and conditions they want to enforce on Pakistan; Wake up! #PMIKSaysNoMore”

The already strained relations between the United States and Pakistan took another dip in January this year when Trump suspended security assistance to Islamabad over the alleged presence of Afghan militant groups in Pakistan’s tribal belt — a claim rejected by Islamabad.


Acting Pentagon chief not decided yet on funding US-Mexico border wall

Updated 17 February 2019
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Acting Pentagon chief not decided yet on funding US-Mexico border wall

  • President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the US-Mexico border without congressional approval
  • Within hours, the action was challenged in a lawsuit filed on behalf of three Texas landowners

ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the US-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A US defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Shanahan was likely to approve the $3.6 billion being redirected from the military construction budget.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump can use certain Department of Defense funding to build the wall.
According to the law, the defense secretary has to decide whether the wall is militarily necessary before money from the military construction budget can be used.
“We always anticipated that this would create a lot of attention and since moneys potentially could be redirected, you can imagine the concern this generates,” Shanahan told reporters traveling back with him from his trip to Afghanistan, the Middle East and Europe.
“Very deliberately, we have not made any decisions, we have identified the steps we would take to make those decisions,” Shanahan said.
He added that military planners had done the initial analysis and he would start reviewing it on Sunday.
Officials have said that the administration had found nearly $7 billion to reallocate to the wall, including about $3.6 billion from the military construction budget and $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction fund.
The US defense official said Shanahan would meet with the service secretaries in the coming days to pick which specific projects the money should come from.
Shanahan said that planners had identified the different sources of money that could be used, but he had not decided specifically what projects it would impact and ultimately it was his decision.
“I am not required to do anything,” he said.
Shanahan said he did not expect to take money away from projects like military housing.
Poor standards of military housing were highlighted by recent Reuters reporting, which described rampant mold and pest infestations, childhood lead poisoning, and service families often powerless to challenge private landlords in business with their military employers.
“Military housing, what’s been interesting- I’ve received a number of letters, I’ve had lots of feedback, do not jeopardize projects that are underway,” Shanahan said.
“As we step our way through the process, we’ll use good judgment,” Shanahan said.
The Republican president’s move, circumventing Congress, seeks to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a border wall that Trump insists is necessary to curtail illegal immigration.
Within hours, the action was challenged in a lawsuit filed on behalf of three Texas landowners.
“We are following the law, using the rules and we’re not bending the rules,” Shanahan said.