Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif speaks during a press conference on September 8, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Pakistan Says 16 Years of US Failure in Afghanistan Explains Latest Trump Outburst

Pakistan Defense Minister accuses U.S. of sowing "mistrust" as American ambassador summoned to explain president's provocative tweet

Jessica Corbett

Pakistani officials strongly rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump for accusing the country of providing a "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan" and threatening to cut off U.S. aid.

"Trump is disappointed at the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan and that is the only reason he is flinging accusations at Pakistan."
—Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif 

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told the Pakistani television network Geo on Monday that "Trump is disappointed at the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan and that is the only reason he is flinging accusations at Pakistan."

"We have already told the U.S. that we will not do more, so Trump's 'no more' does not hold any importance," Asif said, adding that "Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the U.S. aid that it has received."

In his first tweet of the year, Trump said that Pakistan has "given us nothing but lies & deceit" while the United States has continued to provide aid to the country:

Al Jazeera broke down U.S. aid to Pakistan since the War on Terror began: "Since 2001, the U.S. has appropriated $33 billion to Pakistan, according to official U.S. figures, sourced from the Congressional Research Service. As such, total U.S. aid allocated to Pakistan—both civilian and military—since 2001 is $19.354 billion. Total aid actually disbursed during that period stands at $14.788 billion, according to USAID figures."

Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Pakistani Army, added that U.S. aid to Pakistan has been "reimbursement for support Islamabad gave to the coalition for its fight against Al Qaeda."

Khurram Dastagir, Pakistan's defense minister, accused the United States of giving Pakistan "nothing but invective & mistrust" while Pakistan has provided the U.S. with intelligence and military assistance:

Shortly after Trump tweeted on Monday, the Pakistan Foreign Office summoned U.S. Ambassador David Hale to explain the president's comments, according to the Pakistani government's official Twitter account and a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

Several news outlets report that Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss Trump's threats and accusations, and another meeting with his National Security Committee (NSC)—which includes leaders of the army, navy, and air force, as well as intelligence chiefs and other ministers—to discuss "deteriorating U.S. ties."

Zahid Hussain, a security analyst based in Islamabad, told Al Jazeera that Trump's "crude" message does not come as a surprise because "we have seen that relations between Washington and Islamabad have been strained for some time and they are increasingly becoming hostile."

Hussain added that Trump's comments demonstrate "U.S. frustration at not achieving any stability in Afghanistan after more than 16 years of conflict."

The heated remarks follow a New York Times report on Friday that the U.S. might continue withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan.

The Trump administration had announced in August that it was witholding the money "until Pakistan did more to crack down on internal terrorist groups," and senior administration officials reportedly met in December to make a decision about what to do with the aid. Anonymous officials told the Times "a final decision could be made in the coming weeks."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Cleaner Air Is Coming' as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

"Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution, with the greatest number of deaths in outer London boroughs," noted Mayor Sadiq Khan in announcing the expansion.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Amazing News': Historic Shark Protections Approved at Global Wildlife Convention

Up to 90% of sharks targeted by the lucrative fin trade will now be protected, said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'The Nightmare Materializes': Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel's National Security Minister

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Jake Johnson ·


Raging Wars, Soaring Hunger Put Women and Girls in Crosshairs, Warns UN

"A toxic mix of crises—conflicts, climate, skyrocketing costs, and the ripple effects of the Ukraine war—are inflicting a devastating toll on the forcibly displaced. This is being felt across the world, but women and girls are particularly suffering."

Brett Wilkins ·


Greta Thunberg Joins 630+ Young People in Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against Sweden

"The Swedish state fails to meet the constitutional requirement to promote sustainable development leading to a good environment for present and future generations," said the plaintiffs.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo