Monday 23 September 2019

Imran Khan hits back at Donald Trump over Pakistan criticisms

The Pakistan leader said that the US president was making his country a ‘scapegoat’ for its own military failures.

President Donald Trump (Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Donald Trump (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By Zarar Khan, Associated Press

Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan has hit back after President Donald Trump accused the country of harbouring Osama bin Laden despite getting billions of dollars in American aid.

Former cricketer Mr Khan tweeted that Pakistan had suffered 75,000 casualties and lost 123 billion US dollars in the US War On Terror, despite the fact that no Pakistanis were involved in the September 11 attacks.

He said the US has only provided a “miniscule” 20 billion US dollars in aid.

US commandos killed Mr bin Laden in a May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he had been living in seclusion in a house near a well-known military academy.

They (Pakistan) don't do anything for us, they don't do a damn thing for us Donald Trump

Pakistan denies it knew bin Laden’s whereabouts prior to the raid, which was carried out without its knowledge.

It later arrested Dr Shakil Afridi, who had run a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad to help the CIA confirm bin Laden’s whereabouts.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Mr Trump said “everybody in Pakistan” knew bin Laden was there and no one said anything despite the US providing 1.3 billion dollars a year in aid.

Mr Trump said he had cut off the aid “because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us”.

The US and Afghanistan have long accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to Islamic extremists and of harbouring leaders of the Afghan Taliban.

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A general view of the flag of Pakistan (Danny Lawson/PA)

Pakistan denies those allegations, pointing to the heavy toll of its war against the Pakistani Taliban, a separate militant group that carries out attacks inside Pakistan.

Mr Khan said Pakistan’s tribal areas along the border have been devastated by years of war, with millions uprooted from their homes.

He also pointed to the logistical support Pakistan has provided for the US war in Afghanistan.

The main overland supply route for American forces fighting in Afghanistan runs through Pakistan.

Mr Khan said the US has made Pakistan a “scapegoat” for its failures in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are stronger than at any point since the 2001 US-led invasion.

PA Media

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