Washington/United Nations: The US has accused Pakistan of playing a “double game” on fighting terrorism and asked Islamabad to take decisive action against militants operating from its soil to “earn” the American aid.
The tough message from the US came after an angry tweet from President Donald Trump on New Year’s day that America had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit” by Pakistan in return for its over $33 billion aid in the last 15 years.
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. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
Soon after the president’s tweet, the White House confirmed that the US had suspended its $255 million military aid to Pakistan.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley came out in support of Trump’s decision to block aid to Pakistan and said, “There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years.”
“They (Pakistanis) work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration,” Haley told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday.
The Trump administration expects far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, she said.
“Trump is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding for Pakistan as they continue to harbour and support terrorism,” Haley said.
The Indian-American diplomat said the aid issue was connected solely to Pakistan’s harbouring of terrorists.
Trump in August announced his new South Asia policy and accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists.
Pakistan yesterday expressed “deep disappointment” over Trump’s allegations, saying the accusations strike with “great insensitivity” at the “trust” between the two countries.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in a tweet challenged Trump’s claim that the US has given Pakistan more than $33 billion dollars as aid over the last 15 years, saying verification by an audit firm would prove the US president wrong.
Pakistan also summoned the US Ambassador David Hale to register its protest after president Trump’s tweet.