Washington: US President Donald Trump said he “looks forward to meeting the new leadership in Pakistan” and in the same breath accused Islamabad of “housing the enemy”.
Trump’s remarks came during a cabinet meeting over non-allocation of finances that led to a partial shut down of the US government, the Dawn reported on Thursday citing CNN.
The US President, who in December wrote to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking assistance in achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war, said he wants to have better relations with Pakistan.
“We want to have a great relationship with Pakistan, but they house the enemy, they take care of the enemy,” he said.
“We just can’t do that. So, I look forward to meeting with the folks from – and the new leadership in Pakistan, we’ll be doing that in the not-too-distant future. I ended the $1.3 billion we paid, it’s like water, we just do it.”
Trump has been consistently critical of Pakistan and had said the country didn’t do “a damn thing for us”.
Subsequently, Prime Minister Khan had led the sharp reaction by political leaders to Trump’s tirade against Pakistan by hinting at review of foreign policy options and asking the US President to introspect on the real reasons for America’s failure in Afghanistan.
Trump’s stance on Pakistan has since softened considerably with him acknowledging in his letter to Imran Khan that the “war had cost both US and Pakistan”.