US President Donald Trump fiercely slammed Pakistan, saying Washington has “foolishly” helped Islamabad more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years and has gotten nothing in return but “lies and deceit”.
Trump took to twitter on Monday to rebuke the US Asian ally for giving “Safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan”.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
It was not immediately clear what prompted Trump’s criticism of Pakistan but he has long complained that Islamabad is not doing enough to tackle terrorist groups.
The American president’s tirade was responded to briefly by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who said Pakistan would “soon” show the world the “difference between facts and fiction.”
“We will respond to President Trump’s tweet shortly inshallah…Will let the world know the truth..difference between facts & fiction.” Asif wrote on Twitter.
Later in the day, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned US Ambassador in Islamabad David Hale to record protest against the accusatory statements tweeted by Trump, DawnNews reported.
The US president’s tweet came in the aftermath of an increasingly terse back-and-forth between Washington and Islamabad since Trump announced his administration’s latest national security strategy.
During the announcement, the US president had been quick to remind Pakistan of its ‘obligation’ to help 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 had said.
The New York Times reported on Dec. 29 that the Trump administration was “strongly considering” whether to withhold $255 million in aid to Pakistan.
It said US officials had sought but been denied access to a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network captured in Pakistan who potentially could provide information about at least one American hostage.
Pakistan counters that it has launched military operations to push out militants from its soil and that 17,000 Pakistanis have died fighting militants or in bombings and other attacks since 2001.