Pakistan Rejects Trump's Criticism, Says It Can't Be Blamed for 'Collective Failure'

NSC meeting underway in Islamabad.— DawnNews

There is no organised presence of terrorists on Pakistani soil, he said, adding that the reduced number of drone attacks is a proof of this.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday that more details about actions against Pakistan would be forthcoming. "And they need to better-to earn, essentially, the money that we have provided in the past in foreign military assistance, they need to show that they are honest in their efforts to crack down on terrorists", she said.

The Trump administration will announce later this week that it is withholding money for "security assistance" to Pakistan after the White House warned that country it would have to take tougher action against terrorism to keep US aid flowing, a State Department official told Fox News Wednesday.

U.S. Permanent Representative to United Nations Nikki Haley said Pakistan had "played a double game for years".

A more sophisticated and better-timed message would've put Islamabad further on the back foot at a time when even Palestine is distancing itself from Pakistan's support for ideologically similar Kashmir-bound jihadist groups, which are now rallying against Trump's Jerusalem move. Moreover, Osama bin Laden, the former leader of al-Qaeda terrorist organization (also banned in Russia), who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, was found and killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan in 2011. "The U.S. still needs these facilities and Pakistan can stop it".

The ambassador said the USA should not shift the blame for their own mistakes and failures onto others.

US President Donald Trump speaks during an address from the White House in Washington, US, December 6, 2017.

"President @realDonaldTrump tweet on Pakistan's duplicitous position over the past 15 years is vindication that the war on terror is not in bombing Afghan villages and homes but in the sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan".

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"[Trump's tweet] is a positive message for us, should USA pressure on Pakistan increase", Mohib added.

The two countries, he added, maintain an "all-weather strategic partnership" and China intends to further deepen its cooperation with Pakistan in all fields.

Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Pakistan can certainly "do more" and stands to gain from additional cooperation with the United States.

That Pakistan has suffered mammoth losses, and paid irreversible human cost, in the past couple of decades is an undeniable reality. Incendiary rhetoric will be matched in kind, especially during an election year.

Furthermore, with Trump already being accused of stoking fires in the Middle East with his decision to move the us embassy to Jerusalem, the USA president will now be the convenient fall guy for any anomalous hike in violence around the perpetually volatile Af-Pak border. Pakistan has plenty of tools to respond to further USA coercive measures including closing the G-LOCS and A-LOCS [ground and air lines of communications], ratcheting up the temperature on the Afghan border, and reducing intelligence cooperation.

Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Wilson Center's South Asia program, said suspension of USA security assistance to Pakistan would not torpedo relations but it was a significant step backward. "The administration seems to have done a U-turn on this approach so trust in these quiet communication mechanisms will atrophy", he said. At a time when Beijing itself is wary of Pakistan's security situation with the future of multiple China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects at stake, this joint effort is likely to yield more positive results for Islamabad.

Hussain added that Trump's comments demonstrate "U.S. frustration at not achieving any stability in Afghanistan after more than 16 years of conflict".

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