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Imran calls for united response over Trump’s criticism

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the response by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over criticism by United States President Donald Trump.

The PTI chairman said that neither that Foreign Office nor the Defence Ministry has issued any serious response over the accusations by Trump that Pakistan was providing safe havens to terror groups in its territory.

He also expressed concern over the increased role of India in Afghanistan, and Trump’s appreciation of the sacrifices of India. “Trump has no understanding of the region, the war in Afghanistan, and the situation in Pakistan,” he said.

Imran Khan said that Pakistan was forced to join the US-led war on terror, and instead sacrificed thousands of lives and injuries, which was not even acknowledged yet alone appreciated.

He said that Trump threatened to halt US assistance to Pakistan, but has not realised that Pakistan faced economic losses worth over S100 billion since the last decade for participating in the war on terror.

The war on terror also led to the mass movement of thousands of tribal people, internally-displaced persons (IDPs), rise in extremism and terrorism resulting in incidents such as the APS attack in Peshawar, and the sacrifices of thousands of personnel of the armed forces.

“Trump has appreciated the role of India, and is speaking the same language used by India against Pakistan,” he said,

He said that Pakistan was being responsible for the failed strategy in Afghanistan, and the US cannot control the country despite spending over a trillion dollars, and deploying 150,000 NATO troops, and sophisticated weapons and drones.

He further said that Trump has warned that there will be hot pursuit of terror groups in Pakistan. “Does this mean that US strategy in Afghanistan failed due to Pakistan,” he questioned.

“The US needs Pakistan for peace in Afghanistan, which will not come with increase in troops.”

He said the Prime Minister should give a solid response, and the civil and military leadership in Pakistan should unite, bring the matter in the parliament and give a message to US.

He further said that Pakistan has instead suffered due to the Indian-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan through Afghanistan in the tribal areas and Balochistan.

“Abbasi, who has said that Nawaz sharif is his prime minister, should give a reply to US,” he said.

He also said that there was a power vacuum in Pakistan, which was without a foreign minister for several years, and later the entire leadership was bent on saving Nawaz Sharif in the Panama case.

This, he said, has prompted the army chief to give statements on the situation,” he said.



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