Pakistan summons US ambassador over Trump's Osama bin Laden comment

File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Islamabad, Pakistan Nov 20, 2018, 02.13 PM (IST)

The Pakistan government today summoned the US Charge de’ Affairs ambassador Paul Jones to register protest against President Trump's recent comment alleging al-Qaida chief Bin Laden lived a comfortable life in Pakistan before he was killed by US forces in 2011.

The Pakistan government said the accusation made by President Trump was baseless rhetoric which was totally unacceptable. 

Rejecting the insinuations about Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan foreign secretary told ambassador Paul Jones that it was Pakistan’s intelligence cooperation that provided the initial evidence to trace the whereabouts of the al-Qaida chief.

The Pakistan foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua told the US Charge de’ Affairs that no other country had paid a heavier price than Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

President Trump in a US television programme had said that the US had given $1.3 billion a year to Pakistan but they didn't do "a damn thing" for the United States. The US president repeated his comments in a Twitter tirade asserting that "we paid Pakistan billions of dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!"

"Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did," the US president added in his tweet.

The US currently does not have an ambassador in Pakistan, the previous ambassador David Hales’s tenure had ended and the US foreign affairs committee had delayed naming an ambassador to Pakistan, therefore the Charge de’ Affairs Paul Jones is currently in charge.

The US must not forget that scores of top al-Qaida leaders were killed or captured by active Pakistani cooperation, the foreign secretary told the US Charge de’ Affairs, adding that Pakistan’s continued support to the efforts of international community in Afghanistan through Ground, air and sea lines of communication was "unquestionably critical" to the success of the mission in Afghanistan.

"In the wake of recent US pronouncements to seek a political settlement in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US have been working in close coordination with other regional stakeholders in order to end the prolonged conflict. At this critical juncture, baseless allegations about a closed chapter of history could seriously undermine this vital cooperation," the Pakistan foreign secretary said.

After President Trump lashed out at Pakistan, PM Imran Khan had retorted saying that "Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties" by participating in US war against terror, "over $123 billion was lost to the economy and the US "aid" was a minuscule $20 billion."
 

Story highlights

The Pakistan foreign secretary told the US Charge de’ Affairs that no other country had paid a heavier price than Pakistan