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Wednesday Feb 14 2018

US must stop scapegoating Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan, says Aizaz Chaudhry

Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Pakistani ambassador to the US, says a recent tweet by President Trump critical of Pakistan "caused considerable disappointment and surprise to us." Photo: Geo News file

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's ambassador to the US Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry on Wednesday said that the tweet which US President Donald Trump issued on the eve of New Year caused considerable disappointment and surprise in Pakistan.

On New Year's Day, Trump had tweeted that the United States had "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." The president had accused Pakistan of providing a "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan," while providing "little help."

Donald Trump twitter

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Pakistani envoy to the US said that Trump's tweet had caused disappointment because Pakistan believes the two countries have worked together for decades and "the relationship should not be categorised and described in the terms that it was done."

"In Pakistan, there was big public outrage," stated Chaudhry.

Discussing the relationship between Pakistan and the US, he emphasised the importance of the ties.

"For 70 years, Pakistan and the United States have worked together. We think we achieved results when we worked together. [For example] during the '60s when there was a mighty big challenge from the communist world and then in the '80s when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States and Pakistan worked together. And again in the 2000s when Al Qaeda posed the challenge that it did and we achieved results."

He also expressed hope that the two countries will be able to establish peace in South Asia.

"We think there is still enough work to be done by Pakistan and the United States, particularly to stabilise Afghanistan ... and also to finish up what we started together, to eliminate terrorism from our region."

Chaudhry, in the interview, claimed that Pakistan's security situation has "drastically improved" though its next door neighbour has not been able to establish peace.

"Today it [has] settled governments, so that political vacuum which the militants and Taliban exploited is gone. They are on the run. We are pushing them away. In Pakistan, the law-and-order situation has drastically improved," he told the publication. "Now compare it with Afghanistan next door. The security situation is deteriorating."


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