Pakistan’s ruling party PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif today described US President Donald Trump’s remarks against Islamabad as “non-serious” and said a head of state should be mindful of the diplomatic rules of engagement, amidst escalating war of words between the two countries. “A head of state should remember the rules of engagement while addressing a fellow state,” Sharif, also the former prime minister, told reporters here. In a scathing attack, Trump on Monday accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but “lies and deceit” in return for USD 33 billion aid and said Islamabad has provided “safe haven” to terrorists.
Commenting on Trump’s remarks, Sharif said the US had no right to taunt Pakistan for providing support in lieu of services as coalition partner because the money released by Washington was not “aid”. “A coalition fund should not be called aid. We do not even need such a fund and our support should not be demanded in return,” he said. Sharif asked Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to formulate a plan so that Pakistan should never need foreign aid. He also took a swipe at former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for giving support what he termed as selling the honour of the country cheaply. “If a democratic government was in place in Pakistan instead of a dictatorship in 2002, then it would never have sold its expertise to the US. It would neither have sold our expertise, nor our self-respect,” he said.
Talking about domestic issues, he said certain quarters were making efforts to pave way for the winning of election by blued-eyed politicians. “They are trying to shift the public’s views… Block the way for a certain political party, and pave the way for the darling,” he said. Sharif uses the word ‘darling’ for Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaaf chief Imran Khan. He, however, did not specify for whom ‘they’ has been used. Sharif also said he would resist any rigging in the polls. “I want to say in crystal clear words today that this country’s fate is linked to free and fair elections. Every political party should have equal opportunity to take part in these elections,” he said.
He warned to reveal what had been happening for the last four years if the propaganda against him was not stopped. “I have been the PM of this country thrice. A lot of facts are in front of me. As a respectable citizen of Pakistan, I would like for us, as a nation, to assess our own situation,” he said. Sharif said it was time to look at “ourselves often and ask ourselves why the world does not take us seriously.”