TEHRAN (defapress)- Hundreds of demonstrators burnt the US flag and an image of President Donald Trump in protest at the decision by Washington to suspend security aid to Pakistan at the Peshawar military cantonment on Friday.
News ID: 67944
Publish Date: 06January 2018 - 14:00
Trump’s tweet describing Pakistan as liars and cheaters provoked a wave of public fury in the South Asian country as Washington moved to withhold aid to Islamabad, World News reported.
Protesters also on Tuesday rallied against Trump in the Pakistani port-city of Karachi, burning an effigy of the US President along with his portraits and US flags, World News reported.
Protesters marched through the streets of Karachi carrying placards and banners that read, “No more Trump!”
“For the Pakistanis, it is actually quite demeaning to know that the President of the US tweeted something that is quite contrary to what is actually happening,” a protester said, adding that “Pakistanis have spent billions of rupees and sacrificed the lives of many soldiers for the war on terror,” which “impacted the whole world and wasn't just” some local conflict.
Some Pakistanis stressed that US aid was, in fact, not as significant as Washington portrays it, saying “The aid they [the US] have given us is nothing compared to the huge human loss to us".
Others believe that Pakistan does not really need help from Washington, adding that “We are not hungry for their aid".
Another protester announced that his country does not “need any kind of aid from anyone”, and if Trump offers aid to the Pakistanis, they would “throw his aid in his face.”
Slamming the United States over its recent remarks against Pakistan, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif stressed that the Donald Trump administration has turned Islamabad into ‘whipping boy’ contrary to the protocols of being an ally.
In an interview on Friday, Asif said that the US failed to behave as an ally, adding that Pakistan does not consider the US as an ally either, after the behaviour of the Trump administration.
“We do not have any alliance” with the US, Asif underlined, adding that “This is not how allies behave.”
The United States announced on Thursday that Washington is suspending national security assistance to Pakistan, claiming Islamabad is not acting seriously enough against militants.
"Today we can confirm that we are suspending security assistance only to Pakistan at this time," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert announced at a press briefing.
“Pakistan has the ability to get this money back in the future, but they have to take decisive action,” she said.
Asif also on Wednesday said history taught them not to "blindly" trust the US in response to statements from top US officials, including Trump, accusing Islamabad of providing safe haven to militants fighting in war-torn Afghanistan.
"For the past four years, we have been clearing the debris. Our forces are fighting in an exemplary manner, there is an unending saga of sacrifices," Asif said, adding that "We will not compromise on our prestige anymore".
The minister recalled Pakistan's support for the US at its own expense.
"We considered your enemy as our own, we filled the Guantanamo Bay, we served you with such enthusiasm that we left our country in electricity and gas shortages. We tried to please you at the expense of our economy. We provided tens of thousands of visas as a result of which Black Water networks spread across our country," Asif stressed.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also announced that his country should end its dependence on aid from Washington.
Sharif called Trump's tweet "non-serious" and "regrettable" and stressed that the heads of state should keep international norms and diplomatic rules of engagement in mind when addressing other states.
The White House had confirmed that The United States has suspended its 255 million dollars military aid to Pakistan for now, saying the fate of such assistance will depend on Islamabad's response to terrorism on its soil.
The confirmation came on the same day when US President accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but "lies and deceit" and providing "safe haven" to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion aid over the last 15 years.
"They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" Trump said, clearly indicating that Pakistan would no longer receive any security aid from the US till the time it sees a change in behaviour from them in fight against terrorism.
"The administration is withholding $255 million in assistance to Pakistan. There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years," Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the UN, told reporters Tuesday.
Haley again accused Pakistan of harboring extremists and said the US expects “far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism."
Several US lawmakers have also came out in support of Trump adopting a tough approach on Pakistan.
US Vice President Mike Pence has also stressed late December 2017 in an address at Afghanistan’s Bagram airbase that Trump has put Pakistan on notice for providing a safe haven to the Taliban and other militant groups.
Pence’s warning comes weeks after Trump in his new foreign strategy accused Pakistan of allowing terrorist safe havens on its soil, saying Islamabad must take action against terrorists who attack American forces in war-torn Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan responded angrily to the tweet by US President, countering that Washington had given Islamabad “invective and mistrust” in return.
Dastgir-Khan hit back on Twitter, writing that Pakistan, as an “anti-terror ally” of the United States, had given Washington land and air communication, military bases and intelligence cooperation that “decimated Al-Qaeda over the last 16yrs” while America “has given us nothing but invective and mistrust”.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif said in an interview on Geo television that the country is ready to publicly provide an accounting of “every detail” of US aid it has received.
Pakistan was already doing all it could to combat terrorism within its borders, he added, stressing that “We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance".
Pakistan also summoned US ambassador in Islamabad David Hale and lodged protest over Trump's tweet in which he doubted Pakistan's role against terrorism. He was called to the Foreign Ministry after high level consultations between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and civil and military leaders.
Relations between the two allies in the so-called war against terrorism have plummeted to new lows in recent years, mainly due to a clash of interests in war-ravaged Afghanistan.