Pakistan army chief says nation felt 'betrayed' at U.S. criticism

  • Friday 12, January 2018 in 7:57 PM
  • Pakistan's Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Pakistan’s army chief told a top U.S. general the nation “felt betrayed” at criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, the military said on Friday, after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit”.

U.S. Central Command chief General Joseph Votel told General Qamar Javed Bajwa during a telephone call this week that the United States was not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan, the Pakistani army said in a statement.

Trump’s administration last week announced the suspension of about $2 billion in security aid to nuclear-armed Pakistan - officially a U.S. ally - over accusations Islamabad is playing a double game in Afghanistan.

Islamabad denies this and accuses the United States of disrespecting its vast sacrifices - casualties have numbered in the tens of thousands - in fighting terrorism.

The U.S. aid suspension was announced days after Trump tweeted on Jan. 1 that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over 15 years and was rewarded with “nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools”.

It is not clear what prompted Trump’s tweet, which infuriated Pakistani officials and caught the rest of the U.S. administration off guard.

The Pakistani statement on Friday did not directly refer to Trump’s tweet.

“(Bajwa) said that entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed over U.S. recent statements despite decades of cooperation,” the army said, referring to the phone call between Bajwa and Votel.