Islamabad: Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday responded to US President Donald Trump’s harshly-worded tweet on New Year’s Day, calling it "non-serious" and "sad".
Sharif told The Dawn, "A head of state should remember the rules of engagement while addressing a fellow state."
Sharif made the comments after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia, sparking much speculation.
Taking a strong exception to the US cutting $ 255 million military aid to Pakistan, he said that the Pakistan government does not care for US threats to cut funding to Islamabad in the war against terrorism.
"We should not be taunted [about US aid]," Sharif told Dawn, adding that he would "advise Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to formulate a plan that ensures we don't need any US aid so that such attacks are not made on our self-respect".
Sharif claimed that a coalition fund is 'aid'. “We do not even need such a fund and our support should not be demanded in return," he said.
"The US president should know that as soon as we, the PML-N, came into power in 2013, we took effective steps to end terrorism in Pakistan. Operation Zarb-i-Azb had broken the backs of terrorists," he added.
Taking a veiled dig at Parvez Musharraf and the opposition, Sharif claimed that a democratically elected government would not have “sold itself to the US after 9/11”. He also threatened to spill the beans on what has happened in Islamabad for the past four years if "they" do not stop their "propaganda".
Sharif said: "If, in 2001, a democratic government was in place in Pakistan instead of a dictatorship, then it would never have sold its expertise to the US. It would neither have sold our expertise, nor our self-respect."
"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 added.
"This is not 2001. A dictator is not ruling the country, and one telephone call will not scare us," he said.