ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected on Monday United States President Donald Trump’s recent allegations that the Pakistani government failed to cooperate with the US and had helped the former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden hide in the country until his death at the hands of the US military in a covert operation in 2011.
Khan said in a series of tweets that Islamabad had joined the American war on terror even though no Pakistani national was involved in the 9/11 terror attacks in the US.
“Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 NATO troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops & reportedly $1 trillion spent on war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than before,” Khan tweeted in response to Trump’s remarks.
On Sunday, Trump accused the Pakistani government of hiding Bin Laden in its territory in an interview to broadcaster Fox News and claimed that despite the US giving $1.3 billion annually to Islamabad, the latter had done nothing.
“(Bin Laden) lived in Pakistan. We’re supporting Pakistan; we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year. I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us,” Trump had said.
“Think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion,” said the US president, adding that Laden’s hideout had been next to a military academy.
In January, Washington had announced the suspension of the major part of its security aid to Pakistan until Islamabad took “decisive” steps against terrorist groups such as the Taliban, which threaten “regional stability and American interests.”