Pakistan summoned the US ambassador on Monday following scathing criticism tweeted by President Donald Trump against Islamabad in which he accused it of harboring extremists.
David Hale was summoned by the Pakistan foreign office on Monday to explain Trump’s tweet, media said. A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Islamabad confirmed the meeting took place.
In a withering attack, Trump on Monday said the United States had “foolishly” handed Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit”.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday will chair a cabinet meeting that will focus on Trump’s tweet, while on Wednesday the country’s top civilian and military chiefs will meet to discuss deteriorating US ties.
Washington has signaled to Pakistan that it will cut aid and enact other punitive measures if Islamabad does not stop helping extremists.
Islamabad bristles at the suggestion it is not doing enough in the war against militancy, saying that since 2001, Pakistan has suffered more than the United States from militancy as casualties at the hands of extremists number in the tens of thousands.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Asif dismissed Trump’s comments as a political stunt borne out of frustration over US failures in Afghanistan.