How international and local media reported Imran, Trump war of words

Published: November 22, 2018
Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump fire remarks at each other over bin Laden, US WoT in Afghanistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump fire remarks at each other over bin Laden, US WoT in Afghanistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI  : United States President Donald Trump’s tirade against Pakistan made headlines in numerous local and international publications.

“They don’t do a thing for us,” said Trump about Pakistan in an interview on Fox News Sunday to anchor Chris Wallace. The US president’s remarks came after he tried to defend his government’s decision to reduce military aid for Pakistan.

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During the interview, Trump claimed that Pakistan, despite knowing the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, harboured the terrorist in Abbottabad before the US commandos eventually gunned him down in a raid in 2011.

The president justified that the decision to cut off aid for Pakistan came as a result of Pakistan’s incompetence in getting rid of bin Laden.

The verbal duel between the two leaders escalated when Prime Minister Imran Khan retaliated and highlighted that Pakistan is among few allies who suffered 75,000 casualties in the US War on Terror in Afghanistan.

‘Pakistan Angered By Trump’s Claims That It Does Nothing For US’ 

The New York Times

On the occasion, media outlets globally reported the incident with different perspectives. Leading American daily The New York Times covered PM Imran’s rebuttal in a headline that read ‘Pakistan Angered By Trump’s Claims That It Does Nothing For US’.



However, the NYT pegged the initial story with Trump’s remarks on Pakistan to the US president’s refusal to sit for an interview in the Russia probe. Right at the end of the article though, the publication highlighted Trump’s criticism directed at US Navy SEAL commander William H McRaven for not “capturing the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks”.

Pakistan summons US envoy after Trump tirade

The news outlet, however, concluded their piece without including Trump’s outrage towards Pakistan. It only specified Wallace’s question to the president, of whether he would give any credit to Pakistan for taking bin Laden down.

Trump says ‘of course’ the U.S. should have caught bin Laden sooner 

Washington Post



Washington Post, on the occasion, broke the initial story with emphasis that US should have caught bin Laden sooner. “Trump says ‘of course’ US should have caught bin Laden sooner,” the Post reported. In addition, the publication explicitly stated the president’s follow-up tweet in which he maintained that “Pakistan and Afghanistan were among many countries that take from the US without giving in return”. The story also covered Trump’s tweet that called out Pakistan for not informing the US about bin Laden’s whereabouts despite being paid millions.

Indian media calls it the “bluntest denunciation of Pakistan by a sitting US president”

Other international publications including Indian news outlets took a rather negative view of the tirade and presented a perspective more in line with their domestic audience.

Pentagon cancels $300 million ‘aid’ to Pakistan

Hindustan Times and India Today reported similarly on the falling out between the two head of the states. Trump’s words that “they don’t do a damn thing for us” remained the most popular headline that flashed across the internet.

Hindustan Times particularly specified that the US withdrew about $2 billion in military aid to Pakistan earlier this year for not taking action against ‘terrorists’ operating from its soil. The publication further pronounced that the “US president hit out at Pakistan for providing safe haven to ‘agents of chaos’ and warned Islamabad that it has ‘much to lose’ by harbouring terrorists”.



India Today termed the episode to be the “bluntest denunciation of Pakistan by a sitting US president”.

Local media refers to the incident as ‘tirade against Pakistan’

While most of the western and Indian media voiced the matter as though they were upholding Trump’s narrative, the local media referred to the incident as ‘tirade against Pakistan’, bringing the nation’s interests to fore.

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However, the coverage wasn’t limited to the US president’s remarks alone. PM Imran’s rebuttal to Trump’s accusations also made ripples.

International media’s coverage on PM Imran’s rebuttal against Pakistan

Washington Post, once again, reported on the incident by specifying figures from the premier’s tweet that Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties and lost $123 billion in the US WoT.

The Post further mentioned PM Imran’s claims that “no Pakistani was involved in the September 11 attacks and that the US only provided a ‘minuscule’ sum in military aid”.

Newswire service Reuters also covered backlash on the US president by the premier in a headline that read “Pakistan PM Imran Khan lashes out at Trump ‘tirade’”.



On the other hand, Voice of America, in a news article, termed the prime minister’s response as ‘slamming’ of “Trump’s denunciation of Pakistan’s anti-terror efforts”. VOA further stated that “Washington is making Islamabad “a scapegoat” for US “failures” in Afghanistan”.



The international media did not provide coverage to the two ministers though.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Shees Hassan
    Nov 23, 2018 - 11:23AM

    US policies have always been subversive and against world peace and democracy, Chile, ealry days of Post Cold War Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. are clear examples. The only difference is that they are unable to sell their narratives amidst their visible frustration over Afghan crisis. They want to make Pakistan a scapegoat. They won’t succeed this time as Pakistan is not Cambodia.
    A timely and appropriate reaction from Pakistan. I stand with my PM.Recommend

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