WASHINGTON: United States (US) President Donald Trump on Monday began the new year by accusing Pakistan of giving Washington “nothing but lies and deceit”.
The US president tweeted that Islamabad thinks of US leaders “as fools”.
He said Washington had “foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.”
In turn, he claimed that Pakistan had given “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help”. “No more,” he added.
The US president’s latest tweet follows in the aftermath of an increasingly tense back-and-forth between Washington and Islamabad after Trump announced the administration’s latest national security strategy.
During the announcement, the US president was quick to remind Pakistan of its obligation towards helping America because it receives “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,” the US president said.
In December 2017, the Pentagon also informed the US Congress that it would take ‘unilateral steps’ in areas of divergence with Pakistan while expanding cooperation between the two countries where their interests converge.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif tweeted that he will be releasing an statement in response to Trump’s tweet in a short while.
The US has repeatedly urged Pakistan to “do more” to tackle the menace of terrorism. Trump’s latest tweet comes four days after Pakistan army spokesperson Major Gen Asif Ghafoor categorically said that we have done enough and cannot do more for anyone except Pakistan.
Instead, he said, the US and Afghanistan should be asked to do more. According to the army’s spokesperson, there is no organized structure of any terror outfit any more in Pakistan. He added that if there are any facilitators of terrorists in Pakistan, the issue can only be addressed by sending back the Afghan refugees. He was of the view that Afghan cooperation was needed for that. INP/NNI