Rhetoric rises as US vows to withhold aid to Pakistan

In a sign of escalating tensions between the United States and Pakistan, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Ha...

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 12:42 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2018 12:42 PM

In a sign of escalating tensions between the United States and Pakistan, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Pakistan of playing "a double game for years" and confirmed the administration will withhold $255 million in aid to the country.

"They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan," Haley said Tuesday at a news conference. "That game is not acceptable to this administration."

Her remarks came a day after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of lying to and deceiving the US despite receiving billions in foreign aid.

The Pakistani government said earlier Tuesday that recent comments from US leaders were "completely incomprehensible" and could damage the trust between the countries.

Haley said the White House expects far more cooperation from the Pakistani government in the fight against terrorism. Trump is willing "to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbor and support terrorism," Haley said.

Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations responded to Haley's comments by saying Pakistan had made the biggest contribution to fighting international terrorism, and that it had been unfairly blamed for US failures.

"US spokespersons should not shift the blame for their own mistakes and failures onto others," said Maleeha Lodhi. "We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated. Pakistan's cooperation is not based on any consideration of aid but on our national interests and principles."

Earlier Tuesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, attended by the country's Foreign, Interior and Defense Ministers, along with chiefs of staff of the army, navy and air force.

In a statement following the meeting, the NSC expressed "deep disappointment" at recent US leadership comments, which it said were "completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts manifestly, struck with great insensitivity at the trust between two nations built over generations, and negated the decades of sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation."

It said there had been close interaction with the US following Trump's initial policy statements regarding South Asia, and that recent visits to Pakistan by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis were "robust and forward-looking."

The NSC claimed that Pakistan's counterterrorism campaign had, at great financial cost, "served as a bulwark against the possible expansion of scores of terrorist organizations currently present in Afghanistan -- a fact acknowledged by US authorities at the highest levels."

"Even more importantly the huge sacrifices made by Pakistan, including the loss of tens of thousands of lives of Pakistani civilians and security personnel, and the pain of their families, could not be trivialized so heartlessly by pushing all of it behind a monetary value -- and that too an imagined one," the statement said.

Claiming the roots of terrorism in Afghanistan were due to corruption, drug production and ungoverned terrorist havens, "the Committee observed that Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the collective failure in Afghanistan and that blaming allies certainly does not serve the shared objective of achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region," the NSC statement said.

The statement said that "despite all unwarranted allegations, Pakistan cannot act in haste and will remain committed to playing a constructive role towards an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, not just for the sake of its own people, but also for the peace and security of the region and international community".

Following the NSC meeting, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif offered to pay for Trump to carry out an audit on his claim that Pakistan had received $33 billion in US aid over the past 15 years.

"He can hire a US based Audit firm on our expense to verify this figure & let the world know who is lying & deceiving," Asif wrote in a tweet.

A separate tweet from the Government of Pakistan contained a graph showing a drastic decline number of its civilians killed by Islamist militants. It claimed the number of Pakistanis killed in terror attacks had dropped significantly over the past five years, and that the number of people killed in the country since 2003 had cost the state $123 billion.

Meanwhile, around 200 members of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition of Islamist parties, demonstrated against the US in Karachi, holding "Dump Trump" placards and burning the American flag. A similar protest was held in Lahore, according to AFP.

On Monday, US Ambassador David Hale was summoned to Pakistan's Foreign Ministry ministry to meet with senior officials, a US Embassy spokesman confirmed.

The White House said that it would continue to withhold $255 million in military aid to Pakistan out of frustration over what it has characterized as Islamabad's obstinacy in confronting terrorist networks.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34211

Reported Deaths: 2125
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9761576
Lake3573186
Allen160069
Cass15877
St. Joseph126634
Elkhart126228
Hendricks116671
Hamilton115493
Johnson1097108
Madison58659
Porter53428
Bartholomew50834
Clark49741
LaPorte43023
Howard40428
Tippecanoe3933
Delaware38536
Jackson3821
Shelby37122
Hancock33127
Floyd31839
Boone31635
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2662
Montgomery23817
White2338
Noble22821
Clinton2271
Decatur22431
Grant21022
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry17211
Greene16924
Vigo1688
Dearborn16821
Monroe16712
Warrick16628
Lawrence15924
Miami1401
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Kosciusko1271
Orange12622
Scott1193
Franklin1108
Ripley1086
Marshall1021
Carroll932
Daviess8516
Steuben832
Wayne785
Fayette777
Newton7710
Wabash772
LaGrange762
Jasper661
Washington521
Clay511
Jay500
Fulton491
Randolph473
Rush462
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley413
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan351
Owen341
Brown331
Perry320
Wells310
Benton300
Knox280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke170
Adams171
Posey160
Gibson152
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 118917

Reported Deaths: 5330
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook771193603
Lake8238288
DuPage7620368
Kane6259176
Will5510273
Winnebago220955
McHenry153972
St. Clair112180
Kankakee90045
Kendall77819
Rock Island65124
Champaign6277
Madison57259
Boone44117
DeKalb3994
Sangamon34829
Jackson28210
Randolph2694
Peoria2218
McLean21813
Ogle2033
Stephenson2012
Macon19419
Clinton18617
Union15510
LaSalle15013
Whiteside13912
Iroquois1314
Coles12615
Out of IL1181
Warren1150
Jefferson10116
Grundy982
Knox980
Monroe9511
McDonough8711
Lee811
Unassigned800
Cass730
Tazewell725
Henry690
Williamson661
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas270
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Menard200
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Carroll162
Shelby161
Bureau151
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 69°
Robinson
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 72°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 69°
Rockville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 67°
Casey
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Brazil
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 69°
Marshall
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 69°
Cooler temperatures tonight with a clear sky.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Duke Energy saving programs

Image

Staying cool this season

Image

Indiana state parks to stay closed

Image

McBride Honored by Bloomfield

Image

Terre Haute city courts prepare to reopen to public

Image

Protesters gather for second day in Terre Haute

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Students celebrate the end of the school year in West Terre Haute

Image

Terre Haute protests continue into Saturday night

Image

Local VFW honors Cpl. Gregory Stultz during an annual ceremony

WTHI Events