DAVOS: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who is in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual session of the World Economic Forum (WEF), stated on Tuesday night that Pakistan will not be influenced by the United States (US) and has a right to defend itself.
Speaking to a private news outlet, Asif stated that Pakistan creates it nuclear policy independently and will neither develop nor change it on the orders of the United States. He further stated that the country has neither bowed down to pressure from the US in the past nor does it intend to do now.
Asif’s comments come amid tensions between the United States and Pakistan, which have only marginally subsided since Donald Trump’s tirade against Pakistan prompted a strong response from the latter.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump had said in his first tweet of 2018.
Following his tweet, the Trump administration suspended about $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan.
In December in a report outlining its national security strategy underlining the country’s interests and objectives worldwide, the US said the prospect for an Indo-Pakistani military conflict that could lead to a nuclear exchange remains a key concern requiring consistent diplomatic attention, besides preventing nuclear weapons, technology, and materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.
“The US will also encourage Pakistan to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets,” the report added.