Pakistan on Tuesday challenged Donald Trump's claim that the US has given it more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, saying verification by an audit firm would prove the US president wrong.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in a tweet said that Trump could hire a US-based audit firm "on our expense" to verify the $33 billion aid figure and "let the world know who is lying and deceiving".
"Pres Trump quoted figure of $33 billion given to PAK over last 15 yrs, he can hire a US-based Audit firm on our expense to verify this figure & let the world know who is lying & deceiving..," Asif tweeted.
Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor at a press conference last week had said that the aid Pakistan received from the US was "reimbursement for support" Islamabad gave to the coalition for its fight against Al Qaeda.
"Had we not supported the US and Afghanistan, they would never have been able to defeat Al Qaeda," he had said.
Asif's tweet came as Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) after President Trump strongly rebuked the country accusing it of giving nothing to the US but "lies and deceit" and providing "safe haven" to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion in aid over the last 15 years while "fooling" American leaders.
Pakistan's ambassador to the US was summoned to the NSC meeting, which discussed Pakistan's response to President Trump's fresh tirade while also reviewing the country's overall foreign policy, the DawnNews reported.
Shortly before the meeting commenced, the military had finalised its suggestions for Pakistan's response to Trump's allegations in a Corps Commanders' Conference held at General Headquarters.
A meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security has also been called on January 5 to discuss the US' allegations.
Following Trump's tweet, Asif yesterday responded immediately saying, "...Will let the world know the truth...difference between facts and fiction".
He said Pakistan had told the Trump administration that it would do "no more" for it (in the fight against terrorism).
"Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the US aid that it has received over the last 15 years," the minister had said.
Unveiling his new South Asia policy in August, Trump had warned of tougher measures against Pakistan if it failed to cooperate with the US in the fight against terror.
The White House today confirmed that an already-delayed USD 255 million military aid to Pakistan had been blocked.
It said the fate of such assistance will depend on Islamabad's response to terrorism on its soil.