ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s harsh criticism right at the start of the New Year, Pakistan's government huddled up to decide on a counter.
Government officials in the Muslim country held an emergency security meeting on Tuesday after Trump accused the country of "lies and deceit" in a New Year's Day tweet.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the National Security Council meeting, that was attended by the country's Foreign, Interior and Defense Ministers, along with chiefs of staff of the army, navy and air force.
While the meeting was ongoing, reports noted that around 200 members of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, a coalition of Islamist parties, demonstrated against the U.S. President in Karachi, holding "Dump Trump" placards and burning the American flag.
On Monday, in his first tweet of 2018, Trump slammed Pakistan, saying the country has given the U.S. nothing but "lies and deceit."
Trump tweeted on Monday morning, “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!"
On Monday, the White House said that it would continue to withhold $255 million in military aid to Pakistan out of frustration over what it has characterized as Pakistan’s obstinance in confronting terrorist networks.
However, the Pakistani government has yet to issue a formal response.
On Monday, a U.S. Embassy spokesman confirmed that the U.S. Ambassador David Hale was summoned to the foreign ministry to meet with senior foreign office officials.
The same day, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted that Pakistan would respond soon to Trump and "will let the world know the truth… difference between facts & fiction.”