In what is possibly his first act of 2018, President Donald Trump declared Washington would give no more aid to Pakistan.
In an early morning tweet, Trump said Islamabad had not kept up its end of the bargain in dealing with terrorists despite receiving billions in aid from the United States.
“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 and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” said President Trump.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan with little help. No More!” the President declared. Within a few hours, Trump’s tweet on Pakistan garnered 96,000 likes and was retweeted more than 35,000 times, within a few hours of being posted.
A few months ago, in his National Security Strategy, Trump had warned Islamabad it must do more to deter terrorists from operating from within its homeland. Now his emphatic statement indicates he will act.
Islamabad has yet to respond, but the Foreign Minister Khwaja M. Asif indicated Trump was not accurate in his statement.
“We will respond to Trump’s tweet shortly Insha Allah… Will let the world know the truth… Difference between facts and fiction,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khwaja M. Asif, said in a tweet reported by Indo Asian News Service.
One of India’s foremost bilateral issues with the U.S. has been Pakistan providing safe havens to terrorists. Past U.S. administrations have acknowledged this was happening and chided that country about it, but Trump was the first to threaten to cut aid to Islamabad. Now it appears Washington may be the closest it has been to cutting aid to that its ‘Major Non-NATO Ally.”