WASHINGTON (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says US President Donald Trump’s tweet rebuking Pakistan over alleged terror safe havens constitute the official policy of the United States.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Abbasi said “We provided our own response to the policy statement. The tweet we obviously did not respond to because we feel it does not constitute official policy of the U.S.”
When asked why Pakistan doesn’t consider statements coming from the US President himself, the PM responded that statements should come through official channels to get a response.
“It has to come through an official document or an official meeting to constitute official policy, in our opinion,” he said. Because if you say that Pakistan was given money, then let us have accounting. … We have 200,000 troops fighting a war against terror today on the western border. We have lost 6,500 troops. We have defeated the same enemy the rest of the world failed to defeat in Afghanistan, on the same terrain, with our own resources., he added.
Mr. Abbasi underlined that security assistance from the US was minimal. There were some military sales — we bought some F-16 fighters, which we did not receive.
“All that has done is degrade our ability to fight the terrorists. On the ground, the reality is that in the last year, 29 suicide bombers crossed over from Afghanistan into Pakistan and attacked our installations. The deputy chair of the Senate — his convoy was attacked, and 22 people were killed.”
He said ground realities don’t support what Mr. Trump had tweeted.
He also dispelled the impression that army had any role in ouster or Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. “I am from Nawaz Sharif’s party — we have worked together for over 30 years. The Supreme Court made a decision that is questionable, but there is no recourse, because it is a Supreme Court decision,” he added.
He said he would again contest in the upcoming elections, stressing that pursuing quality education for people back home was his priority.