US security aid ‘insignificant’: Pak PM


Islamabad, Reacting on US decision to suspend the security aid to Pakistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has asserted that the US financial assistance was “very, very insignificant”. Mr Abbasi said that reports on US, considering cuts of up to $2bn in security assistance were bewildering because what Pakistan actually received was a tiny fraction of that amount, The Guardian published on Sunday. “The aid in the last five years at least has been less than $10m a year. It is a very, very insignificant amount. So when I read in the paper that aid at the level of $250m or 500 or 900 has been cut, we at least are not aware of that aid,” Mr Abbasi. US President Donald Trump used his first tweet of 2018 to threaten to withhold aid to Pakistan. On January 1, Mr Trump tweeted 'The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!' According to the US Agency for International Development, the US gave $778m to Pakistan in assistance in 2016, of which 35 per cent was military and the rest economic.The threatened would include both US military assistance and Afghanistan coalition funding to Islamabad. Pakistani officials have however refuted that the amounts actually of aid money spent are much less that those quoted and they plan to publish their version soon.PM Abbasi rejected Trump’s charge of duplicity over the fight against terrorism, calling his claim that Pakistan was harbouring terrorists a “fallacy”. “Pakistan is a sovereign country and Pakistan has always abided by international conventions,” he said.“Today we are fighting terrorists. So if somebody says we are harbouring terrorists, there is no greater fallacy,” Mr Abbasi added.