By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – A new war of words has erupted between Washington and Islamabad after President Donald Trump's recent statement saying Pakistan has not done “a damn thing ” for the U.S.
In a tweet on Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan recalled the lives lost during the U.S. 'war on terror'.
“1. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pak decided to participate in US War on Terror. 2. Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war & over $123 bn was lost to economy. US “aid ” was a miniscule $20 bn. “
Khan added that Pakistan's tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan were devastated and millions of people had been uprooted from their homes.
“Pakistan continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications(GLOCs/ALOCs), Can Mr Trump name another ally that gave such sacrifices? ” Khan said.
“Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140000 NATO troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops & reportedly $1 trillion spent on war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before, ” Khan asked Trump.
In a recent interview with Fox News, Trump accused Islamabad of receiving billions in U.S. aid, yet hiding slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide in the country.
“He [Osama Bin Laden] was living in Pakistan, we're supporting Pakistan, we 're giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don't give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don't do anything for us, they don't do a damn thing for us, ” Trump said.
Relations between the two allies in the war against terrorism have nosedived since Trump assumed office last year, mainly because of a clash of interests in war-torn Afghanistan.
Washington accuses Islamabad of providing safe havens to the powerful Haqqani network, which is blamed for numerous attacks on foreign forces in Afghanistan including capital Kabul in recent years. Pakistan denies the allegations.