WASHINGTON, U.S. - U.S. President Donald Trump began 2018 with a social media salvo against the Muslim-majority country, Pakistan, accusing it of “lies and deceit.”
Trump took to Twitter to express his frustration against Pakistan, which it said was harboring terrorists.
The U.S. President also expressed frustration that the U.S. has “foolishly” sent billions in aid to the country.
Trump tweeted on Monday morning, “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!”
Trump further charged that the nation’s leaders haven’t done enough to help the U.S. thwart terrorists in Southwest Asia.
Last week, a report in the New York Times stated that the Trump administration is considering withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan.
The report pointed out that the move was to demonstrate its dissatisfaction with how Pakistan confronts terrorism in their country.
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.
In August, Trump said, “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. 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.”
The U.S. has been frustrated with Pakistan for years, with Presidents Obama and George W. Bush expressing anger with the effort by leaders in Islamabad to root out terrorists inside Pakistan as the U.S. carried out operations in Afghanistan.
The country has been rocked by terrorist attacks and whose ISI intelligence agency is viewed suspiciously.
For years after being titled the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden hid in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, until he was killed by United States Navy SEALS in 2011.
What has added to frustration is that Pakistan is still holding Dr. Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA pinpoint Bin Laden ahead of the raid.
On Monday, Trump also tweeted about the protests in Iran, saying its “time for change.”
He said, “Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years.”
Trump added, “They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”