Washington, Oct 14: US President Donald Trump has said that his country “is beginning to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders”, after Islamabad helped rescue an American-Canadian couple and their three children from the clutches of the Haqqani network.
“Starting to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders. I want to thank them for their cooperation on many fronts,” Trump tweeted.
On Friday Trump said that Pakistan took “tremendous advantage” of the US over the years, but is now “starting to have a real” relationship.
“Yesterday, things happened with Pakistan… “They are starting to respect the United States of America again,” he said and thanked the leaders of Pakistan for “what they’ve been doing”.
“In this administration, we will call evil by its name,” Trump said.
On October 12, Canadian citizen Joshua Boyle, his wife Caitlan Coleman, a US national, and their three children were recovered from the custody of terrorists by the Pakistan army. The couple were kidnapped in 2012 in Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip. Their three children were born while the pair was in captivity.
Earlier, Trump had slammed Pakistan for its continued support to terrorist groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so.
Trump said the release of the couple was a “positive moment” for US-Pakistan ties.
US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “I want to be clear on saying how grateful we are to the government of Pakistan. Without their assistance, this would not have been made possible. It was critical, and we will certainly not forget that.”
“Our overall relationship with Pakistan …We’ve certainly had points where that relationship has had some challenges. That relationship isn’t going to just turn around overnight, but this is a terrific step in the right direction,” said Nauert while explaining the current status of Washington’s relations with Islamabad.
Responding to a question about Pakistan’s role in the rescue operation, she said: “The Pakistani military, acting on information that we provided, were able to secure the release of this family. We are tremendously happy to have these folks returning, coming home.”
ISPR chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, while talking to reporters in Islamabad, said that “no prisoner exchange or ransom money” was involved in freeing the hostages, according to Dawn. IANS