UNITED NATIONS, Jan 3 (APP): A top Pakistani diplomat Tuesday set the record straight after US Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley’s incendiary remarks about Pakistan’s role in the war on terrorism, saying Islamabad’s cooperation with Washington was not based on any aid consideration, but “on our national interests and principles.”
“We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the U.N., said in response to media questions about Haley’s comments at an earlier news conference where the US envoy repeated President Donald Trump’s allegations that Pakistan played a double game in its counterterrorism operations and confirmed that US was withholding $255 million in aid to the country.
“We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting international terrorism and carried out the largest counter terrorism operation anywhere in the world,” Ambassador Lodhi asserted.
“US spokespersons should not shift the blame for their own mistakes and failures onto others,” she added.
At her press conference, Haley also said she saw “clear reasons” for the decision and said the U.S. move to halt aid was not connected to Pakistan’s UN General Assembly vote last month opposing the United States on the issue of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration.”
On Monday, Trump claimed the U.S. had given Pakistan $ 33 billion to Pakistan and got no cooperation in return, a statement vehemently rejected by Islamabad.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump tweeted.
Haley went a step further in warning Pakistan. “We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism,” she said.
“The president is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbour and support terrorism.”
Ambassador Lodhi’s comments have been widely carried by American media.