By Drazen Jorgic
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan civilian and military chiefs on Tuesday rejected “incomprehensible” U.S. comments after President Donald Trump tweeted angrily about Pakistani “lies and deceit”, with Islamabad summoning the U.S. ambassador.
David Hale was summoned by the Pakistani foreign office late on Monday to explain Trump’s tweet, media said. The ministry could not be reached for comment but the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad confirmed on Tuesday that a meeting had taken place.
Trump said the United States had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit” for “foolishly” giving Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he tweeted on Monday.
His words drew praise from Pakistan’s old foe, India, and neighboring Afghanistan, but long-time ally China defended Pakistan.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday chaired a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting of civilian and military chiefs, focusing on Trump’s tweet. The meeting, which lasted nearly three hours, was brought forward by a day and followed an earlier meeting of army generals.
The NSC, in a statement issued by the prime minister’s office, did not name Trump but spoke of “deep disappointment” at a slew of critical comments coming from U.S. officials over the past few months.
“Recent statements and articulation by the American leadership were completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts manifestly, struck with great insensitivity at the trust between two nations built over generations, and negated the decades of sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation,” it said.
Relations with Washington have been strained for years over Islamabad’s alleged support for Haqqani network militants, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban.
The United States also alleges that senior Afghan Taliban commanders live on Pakistani soil, and has signaled that it will cut aid and take other steps if Islamabad does not stop helping or turning a blind eye to Haqqani militants crossing the border to carry out attacks in Afghanistan.
The White House on Tuesday said it wanted to see Pakistan do more to fight terrorism and that it would likely announce actions to pressure Islamabad within days.
“Our goal is that we know that they can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. “In terms of specific actions, I think you’ll…