Imran Khan hits back at Donald Trump over Osama bin Laden remarks

Pakistani prime minister responds to the US president's claims that the country harboured the terrorist 

Monday 19 November 2018 16:59
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Donald Trump claims 'everybody in Pakistan' knew bin Laden was within country

Pakistan’s prime minister has hit back at Donald Trump after he accused the country of harbouring Osama bin Laden while receiving US aid.

Imran Khan took to Twitter to respond to the claims and said that Pakistan had suffered 75,000 casualties and lost $123bn in the US War On Terror.

The former cricketer also added that the US had only provided a "miniscule" $20bn in aid and stressed that Pakistan had faced a huge burden despite none of its citizens being involved in the September 11 attacks.

Mr Trump had claimed that "everybody in Pakistan" knew bin Laden was there and no one said anything despite the US providing $1.3bn a year in aid.

The US president said he taken the decision to cut off the aid "because they don't do anything for us, they don't do a damn thing for us", he told Fox News.

US commandos killed bin Laden in a May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he had been living in seclusion in a house near a well-known military academy.

Pakistan has always denied that it knew about bin Laden's whereabouts prior to the raid, which was carried out without its knowledge.

Mr Trump also criticised the Navy SEAL, William McRaven, who led the operation who has been critical of his presidency so far.

Donald Trump slams navy Seal who took down Osama Bin Laden

“He’s a Hillary Clinton backer, and an Obama backer, and frankly, wouldn’t it have been nice if we’d have got Osama Bin Laden a lot sooner than that?” Mr Trump said.

The US and Afghanistan have long accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to Islamic extremists and of harbouring leaders of the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan has always denied those allegations, pointing to the heavy toll of its war against the Pakistani Taliban, a separate militant group that carries out attacks inside the country.

Mr Khan said Pakistan's tribal areas along the border have been devastated by years of war, with millions uprooted from their homes.

He also pointed to the logistical support Pakistan has provided for the US war in Afghanistan.

The main overland supply route for American forces fighting in Afghanistan runs through Pakistan.

Mr Khan said the US has made Pakistan a "scapegoat" for its failures in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are stronger than at any point since the 2001 US-led invasion.

Agencies contributed to this report

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