Islamabad has warned Donald Trump against endangering US-Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan, promising a "cold-blooded" response to Washington's aid cut. The foreign ministry Monday night summoned the U.S. Ambassador to protest and seek an explanation. The militant was arrested in October by Pakistani troops as they rescued a Canadian-American couple who had been held captive for five years, and the United States believe he could provide important information about other American hostages in Afghanistan. He reiterated longstanding allegations that Pakistan gives "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan".
Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Donald Trump could hire a US-based audit firm to verify the United States dollars 33 billion figure he cited in a furious tweet on New Year's Day.
Today, Pakistan held an emergency meeting of its National Security Council, in a desperate bid to find a way to respond to Trump's accusations.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday said that Pakistan can survive without taking aid from the United States as it survived in the past [when USA had suspended assistance to Pakistan]. "If the funds that Pakistan receives from the USA are cut off, this can exert direct pressure on Pakistan and we welcome this effort".
Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad who has emerged as one of the vocal critic of Pakistan and has accused it of being a state sponsor of terrorism made the remarks ahead of the announcement of White House actions to pressurise Pakistan.
USA officials have long accused Pakistan of allowing terror networks to operate within the country's borders. "And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan".
Nauert said that despite sustained high-level engagement with Pakistan's government, "the Taliban and Haqqani network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilize Afghanistan and attack US and allied personnel". Asif insisted that Trump "can hire a United States based Audit firm on our expense to verify this figure & let the world know who is lying & deceiving".
Pakistan has received over $33 billion in overt aid - a mix of economic and security-related assistance from the United States since 2002, when America invaded Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban regime sheltering al Qaeda, the outfit responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks. "The worldwide community should acknowledge that", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters here on Tuesday.
The two countries, he added, maintain an "all-weather strategic partnership" and China intends to further deepen its cooperation with Pakistan in all fields.
On Tuesday, she had said the administration would in the "next 24 to 48 hours" present Pakistan with a list of "specific actions" it needed to take on combating terrorism to keep the aid flowing.
The prime minister's statement said the real challenges in Afghanistan were political infighting, massive corruption, phenomenal growth of drug production, and the expansion of ungoverned spaces inside Afghanistan full of sanctuaries for multiple worldwide terrorist organizations that pose a direct threat to Afghanistan, its neighbors, and the region.
Meanwhile, data from another agency, USAID, shows that USA agencies gave around $16 billion to Pakistan between 2001 and 2017.