Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador, an embassy spokesman said Tuesday, a rare public rebuke after Donald Trump lashed out at Islamabad with threats to cut aid over “lies” about militancy.
Ambassador David Hale was asked to go to the foreign office in the Pakistani capital on Monday night, after Islamabad responded angrily to the US President’s allegations that it provided safe havens for militants in the latest spat to rock their alliance.
A US embassy spokesman confirmed Hale met officials, but added: “We don’t have any comment on the substance of the meeting.”
There was no immediate response from foreign office officials.
Trump used his first tweet of 2018 to tear into 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,” Trump said in the early-morning New Year’s Day tweet.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Pakistan hit back swiftly, saying it had done much for the United States, helping it to “decimate” Al-Qaeda, while getting only “invective & mistrust” in return in angry comments from its foreign and defense ministers.
Islamabad has repeatedly denied the accusations of turning a blind eye to militancy, lambasting the United States for ignoring the thousands who have been killed on its soil and the billions spent fighting extremists.