Trump seeks Pak help on Afghanistan

Islamabad: United States President Donald Trump on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking help in resolving the Afghanistan issue.

In a meeting with senior journalists and television anchors here, the PM said Trump has asked for Pakistan’s assistance for negotiation with Afghan Taliban.

“The US has also realized now that peace cannot be attained in Afghanistan without Pakistan’s help,” he added.

Earlier, the US military said it had made a decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.

The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies & deceit.”

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said.

The letter from the US president came after a war of words between the two head of the states.

On November 19, the roller-coaster relationship between the two countries touched a new low when President Trump fired off a fresh tirade against Pakistan, triggering an angry retort from PM Imran Khan and his cabinet members.

Imran Khan highlighted that Pakistan is among few allies who suffered 75,000 casualties in the US War on Terror in Afghanistan in response to Trump’s statement that “Pakistan don’t do a thing for us” in a Fox News interview.

The US president’s remarks came after he tried to defend his government’s decision to reduce military aid for Pakistan.

Trump claimed that Pakistan, despite knowing the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, harboured the terrorist in Abbottabad before the US commandos eventually gunned him down in a raid in 2011.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also hinted at early general election in the country. “It is quite likely that early general elections are held in the country. Changes in ministries can also occur,” he told the journalists.

The PM claimed his government had failed India’s plan to spread hatred. “We have opened Kartarpur corridor to botch India’s plan. The motive behind it was never to deceive anyone. It is not a googly but a straight decision,” he said.

“We are determined to solve Kashmir issue. This issue can be resolved if both the government wishes to do it,” he said.

PM Imran Khan reiterated support to his U-turn stance saying that they are only taken by great people.