Donald Trump singing India's tune, says Pakistan

Activists burn the American flag at a protest in Karachi on Tuesday

Sanders said Trump was taking all these steps because Pakistan had failed to fulfill its obligations in the fight against terrorism.

"The real challenges in Afghanistan were political infighting, massive corruption, phenomenal growth of drug production and expansion of ungoverned spaces inside Afghanistan full of sanctuaries for multiple worldwide terrorist organizations, posing a serious and direct threat to Afghanistan, its neighbors and the entire region", read Tuesday's Pakistani statement.

Amid reports that the Trump administration may approve more drastic measures to punish Islamabad for its alleged support to certain militant groups, the army on Wednesday said Pakistan would respond to any USA action in line with the aspirations of the people.

Trump tweeted Monday the United States had received "nothing but lies and deceit" in return for "foolishly" giving Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years to fight terrorism.

But Tiefer, who served as a commissioner at the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Afghanistan, also cautioned against the fallout of worsening US-Pakistan relations, especially of the United States losing key American supply routes that pass through Pakistan to reach landlocked Afghanistan.

Pakistan has reacted strongly to Mr. Trump's statement, and how it would respond further also remains an open question. "There are several occasions where Pakistan has sided with the US".

Pakistan's National Security Committee, a body that deals with defense issues, said the US criticism stemmed from Washington's failure to win its 16-year war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and that Pakistan "cannot be held responsible for the collective failure in Afghanistan".

A day after some unforgiving and mischievous criticism from President Donald Trump, Pakistan welcomed the staunch support it received from its strongest ally, Beijing, which lauded its efforts for its "outstanding contribution against terrorism" which should be acknowledged by "the global community".

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Describing Pakistan as an independent nuclear power, the defense minister said it was not possible for Washington to dictate terms to Islamabad by withholding aid, and warned the United States against any attempt to bring the war in Afghanistan to Pakistan's soil.

After the statement, Pakistan had called a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Tuesday which expressed "disappointment" over the statement, but said the country would not act in haste. The last Coalition Support Funds were paid to Pakistan in March past year, provided under defence spending legislation for 2016.

Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Pakistan can certainly "do more" and stands to gain from additional cooperation with the United States.

"Recent statements and articulation by the American leadership were completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts manifestly, struck with great insensitivity at the trust between two nations built over generations, and negated the decades of sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation", it said. At a time when Beijing itself is wary of Pakistan's security situation with the future of multiple China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects at stake, this joint effort is likely to yield more positive results for Islamabad. "It is natural for us to enhance communication and exchanges", Geng said.

As recently as October, Trump credited U.S.

But then, US Vice President Mike Pence - in his unannounced, December 22 visit to Afghanistan - had issued an apparent warning to Pakistan, saying it "has much to gain from partnering with our efforts in Afghanistan".

Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Wilson Center's South Asia program, said suspension of US security assistance to Pakistan would not torpedo relations but it was a significant step backward.

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