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Donald Trump slams Pakistan 'lies and deceit'

Chase Winter
January 1, 2018

US President Donald Trump has written his first tweet of the year, accusing Pakistan of providing safe haven to terrorists. The statement signals that ties between the US and Pakistan may head from bad to worse.

Trump bei G20 Hamburg 2017
Image: Getty Images/S. Gallup

US President Donald Trump delivered harsh criticism of Pakistan Monday, accusing Islamabad of taking billions of dollars in US aid in exchange for "lies and deceit."

"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars (€29 billion) 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. "They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif responded: "We will respond to President Trump's tweet shortly inshallah ... Will let the world know the truth ... difference between facts & fiction."

It was unclear what triggered Trump to openly criticize a longtime US security partner in South and Central Asia in his first tweet of 2018.

The US has long accused nuclear-armed Pakistan of not doing enough to clamp down on Islamist militants such as the Taliban and Haqqani network.

The issue has led to tense relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Read more: Pakistan's militancy issue all about? 

China presses Afghanistan-Pakistan rapprochement

Pakistan: One step forward, two steps back

Call for Pakistan to take 'decisive action'

The US National Security Strategy published in December said that the United States sought "a Pakistan that is not engaged in destabilizing behavior and a stable and self-reliant Afghanistan."

"We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts since no partnership can survive a country's support for militants and terrorists who target a partner's own service members and officials," it stated. "We will insist that Pakistan take decisive action against militant and terrorist groups operating from its soil."

In August, the Trump administration said it was delaying $255 million in aid to Pakistan.

Pakistan denies that it does not do enough against terrorism and points out that it has itself suffered when militants have carried out numerous attacks in the country targeting civilians and security forces.

Trump's tweet garnered much criticism of the United States from Pakistanis on social media.

Politician and businessman Jahangir Khan Tareen of the opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said Pakistan had suffered tens of thousands of deaths at the hands of terrorism.