Responding to US President's strong charge in a tweet in which he accused Pakistan of being a 'liar', Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that Donald Trump had belittled sacrifices made by Pakistan.
Iqbal said that Trump had attacked the dignity of Pakistan through his first tweet of the new year and that terrorism in the region is a fallout of American policies. "No one has the right to call Pakistan a liar when it has made the biggest sacrifices in the war against terror," the minister was quoted as saying by Dawn News. "The US president's recent remarks are akin to belittling our sacrifices. We are a dignified nation and no one has the right to attack our dignity."
Iqbal also sought to connect extremism in Afghanistan on US policies in the region from the 1970s and 1980s. "I want to remind the US that these thorns are your inventions. As soon as the war against the Soviets ended, you withdrew and went home without thinking what your radicalizing of Afghanistan to create an anti-Soviet narrative would lead to. The seeds of the extremist views you used to win that war weren't going to suddenly start producing computer chips: they were going to breed terrorism and extremism."
The minister accused the US of not doing anything for millions of refugees who crossed over from Afghanistan to Pakistan. "The Pakistani nation is still paying for those seeds that you planted," he said. "Not one Syrian refugee is given entry into the US but we allowed 3.5m Afghan refugees who had come to Pakistan to fight your war against the Soviets; what did you ever do for them?"
Relations between Pakistan and the US have nose-dived in recent months with the Trump administration repeatedly urging Islamabad to step up its efforts against home-grown terror outfits. Trump's most recent tweet aimed at Pakistan only poured fuel on the diplomatic fire.
A day earlier, on Tuesday, a meeting of Pakistan National Security Committee (NSC) was chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The committee expressed "deep disappointment" at the allegations made by Trump.
Meanwhile, the US administration has decided to withhold $255 million in aid to the country.