US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of harboring violent extremists.
Trump said in his first tweet of 2018 that Washington had “foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.”
“And they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” wrote the US president on Monday.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Washington has long accused Islamabad of allowing militants to operate relatively freely in Pakistan’s porous border regions to carry out operations in neighboring Afghanistan.
Back in August, Trump declared that “Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror.”
The US president’s latest tweet comes following an increasingly tense back-and-forth between Washington and Islamabad. US-Pakistan ties have taken a nosedive under the Trump administration.
While unveiling his “national security strategy” earlier this month, Trump said that he might cut off the aid for Pakistan for good. “We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.”
During the announcement, Trump said Pakistan needed to fulfill its obligation in countering terror because it received “massive payments” from Washington every year.
“We have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory. And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help,” he said.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted that his government was preparing a response that “will let the world know the truth.”
“We will respond to President Trump’s tweet shortly inshallah…Will let the world know the truth …difference between facts & fiction,” said the tweet.