Pakistan's Punjab province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that it is time to say goodbye to US aid after President Donald Trump made harsh remarks and "exaggerated statements" about the financial assistance to Islamabad.
Shahbaz's statement comes days after President Trump alleged that Pakistan received billions of dollars in aid but did not act against "terrorist havens" in the country.
Trump lashed out at Pakistan, accusing the country of playing a double game as it accepted American aid but gave safe haven to insurgents who kill Afghan and NATO troops.
"The exaggerated comments being made in the national and international discourse regarding the US aid to Pakistan are tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of Pakistanis suffering terrorism, poverty and backwardness," said Shahbaz, the younger brother of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In a statement issued on Friday, Shahbaz said it's time Pakistan closed the chapter of the US aid by politely saying "thank you" (for the help), the Dawn reported.
"That's the only way the nation can avert such jibes," he was quoted as saying by the paper.
"Pakistani people craved the opportunity to be treated fairly and honorably and remain committed to contributing to the world peace and prosperity," said Shahbaz, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Over the years, many countries including the US had helped Pakistan improve health, education and other service delivery areas for its people and this vital support continued to be welcomed, he acknowledged. But, he said in the same breath, that no country should see its generosity as a justification to make unfair accusations.
Meanwhile, several religious groups took out protest rallies and held demonstrations across Pakistan against Trump's threatening statement. In Lahore, demonstrations were held outside the US consulate.