Wednesday Jan 03, 2018
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi set the record straight after Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, made incendiary remarks against Pakistan Tuesday night.
Islamabad's cooperation with Washington was not based on any aid consideration, but "on our national interests and principles", said Lodhi, adding "We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated."
Lodhi remarked this while responding to Haley's comments during a news conference, where the US envoy repeated President Donald Trump’s allegations that Pakistan played a double game in its counterterrorism operations.
"We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting international terrorism and carried out the largest counter-terrorism operation anywhere in the world," Ambassador Lodhi asserted.
The US should "not shift the blame for [its] own mistakes and failures onto others," she added.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the US was withholding $255 million in aid to Islamabad, accusing Pakistan of failing to cooperate fully in the 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," Haley told reporters at the United Nations on Tuesday.
"They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan," she said. "That game is not acceptable to this administration. We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism," she added.
"The president is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbour terrorists.
The White House on Tuesday said it wanted to see Pakistan do more to fight terrorism and that it would likely announce actions to pressure Islamabad within days.
"Our goal is that we know that they can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
"In terms of specific actions, I think you’ll see some more details come out on that in the next 24 to 48 hours."
The announcement comes amid a period of heightened tensions between the two nations after the US president said that Washington had foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.
In a tweet on Monday, US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing but lies and deceit, thinking US leaders to be fools.
"They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" he had said.