United States President Donald Trump began the New Year by sending an angry, early morning tweet criticising Pakistan slamming previous US governments for "foolishly" giving Pakistan $33 billion in aid over 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!", President Trump tweeted on Monday.
The tweet by the US President is being considered significant because the recent reports had said that the Trump administration was considering cutting off aid to Pakistan.
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
In response to Trump's statement, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted, "We will respond to President Trump's tweet shortly inshallah...Will let the world know the truth..difference between facts & fiction (sic)"
The US has long accused Istanbul of allowing militants to operate relatively freely in Pakistan's border regions to carry out operations in neighboring Afghanistan.
Earlier on Friday, the Trump administration had announced the United States will deny Pakistan military aid amounting to $255 million as it expects Islamabad to take decisive action “against terrorists and militants on its soil”.
The tweet comes in the wake of the United Nations-designated terrorist, Hafiz Saeed, looking to contest the 2018 general elections in Pakistan and thereby, forming a party - by the name of Milli Muslim League (MML).
Saeed was recently released from house arrest after a Pakistani court cited lack of evidence against him in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.
Earlier on December 30 too, a report emerged that the United States was considering to withhold a USD 255-million aid to Islamabad due to Pakistan's inability to destroy terror safe havens.
The US had, earlier, claimed that more than $33 billion in aid had been provided to Pakistan since 2002.
Although the volume of annual US assistance to Pakistan stands at $1.1 billion, hundreds of millions of dollars are withheld every year under different restrictions imposed since 2011, when relations between the two countries began to deteriorate after Osama bin Laden was found in Abbottabad.