On Monday, the United States President Donald Trump has hinted that he is unexpectedly to lift the security aid freeze to Pakistan till the time he is pleased with Islamabad’s action against terrorism and terror outfits.
During their first meeting, President Trump told Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan that “we were paying $1.3 billion to Pakistan in aid for many years. The problem was that Pakistan was not doing anything for us.”
“They (Pakistan) were really, I think subversive. They were going against us and this is something we’ll be (talking about). I ended that (aid) about a year and a half ago, $1.3 billion,” added the US President.
Ties between Pakistan and the United States have strained after President Trump, while disclosing his South Asia and Afghanistan Policy in August 2017, hits out at Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos” murdered Americans in Afghanistan and further warned Islamabad that it has “much to lose” by offering shelter to terrorists.
President Trump continued, “I’ll tell you what, to be honest, we have a better relationship with Pakistan right now than we did when we were paying that money. But all of that can come back depending on what we’ve worked out. We’re working out things that are very important.”
“At the end of this meeting, in a very short time, the United States is going to have a very great relationship with Pakistan,” said the US President, adding that “and we should. It’s a great country. They’re great people. I have many friends from Pakistan. Living in New York, I have a lot of Pakistani friends. They are great people.”
While replying to a query, Donald Trump said that in the last 18-years, Pakistan wasn’t respectful to the United States. “I don’t think Pakistan respected the United States” in the past, President Trump said, but “they are helping us a lot now.”
“They (Pakistan) didn’t do it and I don’t blame them because they were dealing with the wrong president. Who knows? I think Pakistan could have done (better). They are helping us a lot now. I think they could have helped us a lot in the past,” added President Trump.
He continued that this doesn’t matter now as Pakistan now has a new leader, Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“We have a new leader (in Pakistan). He is going to be a great leader of Pakistan and we have a new leader here sort of new. I’m two-and-a-half years now getting three years leaving… Time flies. But I think Pakistan could have done a lot but they chose not to because they did not respect US leadership,” he said.
In the following up question, President Trump told sources that he would let them know regarding the consequences of the talk quickly, adding that “it’s not going to be like a long-term thing. I figure things out very quickly.”
Expecting that Pakistan is going to do a lot, President Trump said that Islamabad is going to create a big difference in Afghanistan.
“I think Pakistan will save millions of lives in Afghanistan. Because I really believe they can. They have a power that other nations don’t have with respect to Afghanistan. And I will say as of this moment they are working very hard and very nicely,” added the US President.
Trump’s Administration has boosted its efforts to seek a negotiated settlement of the US’s longest war in Afghanistan, where the United States has lost around 2400 soldiers since 2001, which it invaded the nation after 9/11 terror attacks.
PM Khan’s visit comes at a time when talks between the Afghan Taliban and the United States are thought to have entered a conclusive phane. The efforts of Pakistan have been appreciated for facilitating peace talks with the Taliban.