Washington (November 20, 2018): The Pentagon on Monday said that Pakistan remains a critical partner to the United States South Asia strategy, a day after US President Donald Trump alleged that Pakistan does “not do a damn thing” for the US.
In an interview to a local news channel on Sunday, Trump had defended his administration’s decision to block hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, alleging that the country was not doing enough to fight terrorism. He had also accused Islamabad of helping to hide Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
….We no longer pay Pakistan the $Billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2018
US Director of Defense Press Operations Colonel Robert Manning, speaking to reporters during an off camera news conference, asserted that Pakistan “remains a critical partner to America’s South Asia strategy.”“The US and Pakistan have strong mutual interests in the region. As you know, they are critical (and) vital to the South Asia strategy and including the facilitation of a peace process that would lead to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan,” Colonel Manning said.US Director of Defense Press Operations Colonel Robert Manning. Photo: US State Department
Responding to a question about the recent series of tweets by President Trump, he said, “They [Pakistan] remain a critical partner in our South Asia strategy and there’s been no change to our military-to-military relationship with Pakistan.”