US President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to stop aid to Pakistan, accusing it of harboring extremists.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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.”
A National Security Council official on Monday said the White House does not plan to send $255 million in aid to Pakistan “at this time” and said “the administration continues to review Pakistan’s level of cooperation.”
In August, the administration had said it was delaying the payment.
Pakistan’s foreign minister, Khawaja M. Asif, wrote on Twitter “We will respond to President Trump’s tweet shortly inshallah...Will let the world know the truth..difference between facts & fiction.”
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 extremists.
In a speech last month in Afghanistan to US troops, Vice President Mike Pence said “for too long Pakistan has provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organizations, but those days are over. President Trump has put Pakistan on notice.”
Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s ambassador in Washington, said in a Twitter posting that Trump’s tweet was a “promising message to Afghans who have suffered at the hands of terrorists based in Pakistan for far too long.”
In a news conference last Thursday the Pakistani military spokesman, Gen. Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan wouldn't bow to coercion.
"What kind of friends are we that we are being given notices?" he asked at the news conference.