ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Wednesday said blistering criticism by US President Donald Trump was “disappointing” and denied accusations that it supported terrorist groups.
In a firm rebuttal to Trump’s claims that Pakistan had harboured “agents of chaos”, the country’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement asserting its commitment to fighting terrorism.
“No country in the world has suffered more than Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism, often perpetrated from outside our borders. It is, therefore disappointing that the US policy statement ignores the enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation in this effort,” it said.
Trump dramatically increased the pressure on Pakistan during a much anticipated national address on Monday in which he laid out a new strategy on the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” Trump said.
“That will have to change and that will change immediately.”
Relations between Pakistan and the US have fluctuated widely over the decades with Washington frequently accusing Islamabad of fueling the Taliban insurgency and destabilising Afghanistan.
Pakistan routinely dismisses US criticism of its efforts, saying the country has never received credit for the tens of thousands of lives lost and billions spent battling insurgents.
In its latest statement, which came after an hours-long cabinet meeting, Islamabad insisted it was fully participating in global counter-terror efforts.
“As a matter of policy, Pakistan does not allow use of its territory against any country. Instead of relying on the false narrative of safe havens, the US needs to work with Pakistan to eradicate terrorism,” it said.