In his first post on Twitter for 2018, President Donald Trump condemned the government of Pakistan. Writing that Pakistan's leaders have given the United States “nothing by lies & deceit,” Trump declared: “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.”
Alluding to the continuing war in Afghanistan to destroy terrorist cells there, Trump wrote: “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
According to various media reports, the Trump administration may hold back $225 million in aid to Pakistan because of its ineffective handling of terrorist networks. A decision is expected wihtin one month.
It was in Pakistan that the U.S. discovered the hideout of Usama bin Laden -- the founder and mastermind of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. He was killed in a raid by Navy special operators. The discovery of Bin Laden in Pakistan during the Obama administration prompted concern that the Pakistani government had been protecting him for years.
In response to Trump's tweet, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaya Asif tweeted on Monday, “Will let the world know the truth..difference between facts & fiction.”
Last year, Trump revealed a new strategy for warfare in Afghanistan that is intended to destroy the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist networks. The latter operates in Pakistan. In August 2017, Trump claimed that Pakistan "gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror." He warned that his administration will be tougher on Pakistan. The administration had withheld in the previous month $50 million in funding for Pakistan after Defense Secretary James Mattis told Congress he would not certify that Muslim nation has done enough to fight the Haqqani Network.
Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.