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Pakistan summons US envoy over Donald Trump’s tweet

Enraged over Donald Trump’s threat about stopping funds to Pakistan, Islamabad reportedly summoned the US ambassador to Pakistan. According to media reports from Pakistani outlets, Pakistan has called Paul H Alling.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday the United States has “foolishly” handed Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years while getting nothing in return and pledged to put a stop to it.

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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.”

It was not immediately clear what prompted Trump’s criticism of Pakistan but he has long complained that Islamabad is not doing enough to tackle Islamist militants.The New York Times reported on Dec. 29 that the Trump administration was “strongly considering” whether to withhold $255 million in aid to Pakistan.

It said U.S. officials had sought but been denied access to a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network captured in Pakistan who potentially could provide information about at least one American hostage.

Pakistan’s foreign minister, Khawaja M. Asif, wrote on Twitter: “We will respond to President Trump’s tweet shortly inshallah…Will let the world know the truth..difference between facts & fiction.”

The Trump administration said in August that it was delaying sending the $255 million in aid to Pakistan. Last month, Trump said in a speech the U.S. government makes “massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.”

 Pakistan counters that it has launched military operations to push out militants from its soil and that 17,000 Pakistanis have died fighting militants or in bombings and other attacks since 2001.Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, cautioned that people should not “overstate the significance of Trump’s tweet for policy.”

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