Federal cabinet meeting over Trump tweet postponed till Wednesday


ISLAMABAD Jan 02 (TNS):  The federal cabinet, which was supposed to be chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday, has been postponed till Wednesday evening, sources informed.

PM had summoned sessions of the federal cabinet and National Security Committee (NSC) Monday night following the statement by US President Donald Trump.

Sources informed that the US administration’s South Asia policy including Monday’s statement by President Trump will be reviewed in detail during the meeting.

The cabinet will also ponder over national security and other affairs of the state.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.

The US president accused Pakistan of giving nothing but lies and deceit, thinking US leaders to be fools. “They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

The NSC meeting, summoned on Wednesday, will be attended by chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff committee and the heads of the armed forces. The meeting participants will be briefed by DG ISI and DG military operations over ongoing operations against terrorists.

It will also have key federal ministers in presence, it has been learnt.

‘Dictation unacceptable’:

Trump’s tweet followed strong reaction from Islamabad, with Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif saying that the US President’s ‘no more’ holds no importance.

“We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance,” Asif said.

Speaking later on ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’, Asif said that Pakistan does not want aid, whether the United States blocks it or not. “Trump can ask his administration as to why were funds given to Pakistan.”

The minister reassured that his government would safeguard the interests of Pakistan and whatever decisions it made, would be in line with the country’s interests.

“We are not meant for safeguarding interests of any other state; our priority is Pakistan’s betterment,” he said. “If our interests differ with them, we will not become their allies,” he said.

“This sort of dictation is not acceptable at all,” Asif said, in response to Monday’s tweet by President Trump.

Pakistan also summoned US Ambassador David Hale to its Foreign Office and recorded protest over Trump statement.