In his first tweet of 2018, U.S. president accuses Islamabad of offering ‘lies and deceit’ to Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Monday he would cut off foreign aid to Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of harboring violent extremists and lying about it.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump said in his first tweet of 2018. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Last week, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was seriously weighing whether to withhold $255 million in already delayed aid to Islamabad over its failure to better crack down on terror groups in Pakistan.
U.S.-Pakistani ties have taken a nosedive under Trump, who in August declared that “Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror.”
Last month, Trump had already hinted that he might cut off the aid for good.
“We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help,” he said in unveiling his national security strategy. And in late December, Vice President Mike Pence told American troops during a visit to Afghanistan: “President Trump has put Pakistan on notice.”
Islamabad has repeatedly denied the accusations of turning a blind eye to militancy, lambasting the United States for ignoring the thousands who have been killed on its soil and the billions spent fighting extremists.