President Trump on Monday took aim at Pakistan, charging that the nation’s leaders haven’t done enough to help the United States thwart terrorists in Southwest Asia.
The president used his first posting on Twitter of 2018 to lash out against Pakistan, saying its leaders “have given us nothing but lies & deceit.”
“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 tweeted. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Trump’s broadside against Pakistan comes as his administration considers whether to withhold distribution of some $255 million in aid to Pakistan, the New York Times reported last week.
The Trump administration’s frustration with Pakistan isn’t new. Presidents Obama and George W. Bush expressed anger with the effort by leaders in Islamabad to root out terrorists inside Pakistan as the U.S. carried out operations in Afghanistan.
The latest $255 million disbursement has been on hold since August, when the Trump administration notified Congress that it would only release the money allotted for military assistance if it saw greater cooperation in the fight against the Haqqani Network and Taliban.
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said in August. “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.”
Trump, who celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, said he planned to returned to Washington on Monday evening.
Published at Mon, 01 Jan 2018 14:17:52 +0000