PM Abbasi warns US not to weaken Pakistan

PM Abbasi warns US not to weaken Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday warned the United States not to weaken Pakistan.

In an interview with British news agency Reuters in Islamabad, he brushed off US President Donald Trump’s recent tweet accusing Pakistan of “lies and deception” in its commitment to fighting terrorism, as he raised the prospect of charging the United States to use Pakistan’s airspace to resupply NATO troops in Afghanistan.

The prime minister urged the United States to acknowledge Pakistan’s contribution to the fight against terrorism.

Abbasi said any sanctions against Pakistan would be counter-productive to the country’s own battle against terrorists, which is the largest war on terror in the world.

“Any constraints put on Pakistan, actually only serve to degrade our capability to fight the war against terror,” he said.

To a question, he said the government will take over the charities which are sanctioned and not allowed to operate.

The premier also dismissed media reports that Pakistan has ended intelligence sharing with the US.

Abbasi said Trump’s tweet was “unacceptable” in its tone and that Pakistan should not be “scapegoated” for US failures in Afghanistan.

“That is something … we cannot accept because nobody’s suffered more than Pakistan,” Abbasi said, adding that tens of thousands of Pakistani have died from militancy that has inflicted damage worth $120 billion to the economy.