News World Donald Trump rages against Pakistan in first tweet of 2018

Donald Trump rages against Pakistan in first tweet of 2018

Donald Trump
Donald Trump has taken aim at Pakistan in his first Twitter rant of the year. Photo: AP
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President Donald Trump has accused long-time Muslim ally Pakistan of giving the United States nothing but “lies and deceit” in his first Tweet of 2018.

In an extraordinary attack, Mr Trump claimed the US had “foolishly” handed Pakistan more than $US33 billion ($46 billion) in aid over the last 15 years while getting nothing in return, and pledged to put a stop to it.

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” the President 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.”

While it was not immediately clear what prompted Mr Trump’s criticism of Pakistan, the New York Times last week reported the US could withhold $225 million in aid to Pakistan because of the President’s frustration over its handling of terrorists in the country.

White House officials met to decide whether to cancel the aid, the NYT reported.

Mr Trump said in a speech last month that the US government makes “massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help”.

Pakistan says it has launched military operations to push out militants from its soil and that 17,000 Pakistanis have died fighting militants or in bombings and other attacks since 2001.

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”.

As recently as October, Mr Trump was talking up America’s relationship with Pakistan, saying Pakistan now respected the US.

American citizen Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle were freed from the Taliban on October 13 with the help of Pakistan forces.

Mr Trump at the time said Pakistan’s co-operation with the US government over the freeing of the hostages, represented “a positive moment” for US-Pakistan relations.

“The Pakistani government’s co-operation is a sign that it is honouring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” Mr Trump said in a statement at the time.

Later that month US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Pakistan and urged its leaders to increase efforts “to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country”.

– With agencies

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