After President Donald J. Trump issued a warning to Pakistan’s leaders in his first tweet of 2018, Pakistan’s defense minister, Khurram Dastgir-Khan, fired back at Trump on the social media platform.
As DML News reported, President Trump tweeted: “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years.” The president said that in return, Pakistan has “given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”
Trump then accused Pakistan of aiding terrorists, writing, “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Dastgir-Khan issued a tweet just over two hours later, mimicking the president’s words by writing: “[Pakistan] as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing [in return] but invective & mistrust.”
Dastgir-Khan also added, “They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.”
Pak as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.
— Pak Minister Defence (@PakMnstrDefence) January 1, 2018
According to The New York Times, the Trump administration is considering withholding $225 million in aid from Pakistan, because the country has failed to cooperate on counterterrorism operations.
The president previously said Pakistan “gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror,” and said that his administration will be tougher on the country. He has also vowed to defeat the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, a group affiliated with Pakistan. In July, the Pentagon’s decision to withhold $50 million in military reimbursements for Pakistan was made because Pakistan did not take“sufficient action” against the Haqqani network, the Times reported.
Since 2002, the United States has provided Pakistan with over $33 billion in aid.