The Pakistani government shot back at President Trump on Monday after he threatened to stop hundreds of millions in foreign aid, accusing the U.S. of overlooking “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,” the Pakistan Ministry of Defence said in statement posted to Twitter. “They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.”
Trump tweeted Monday morning the U.S. would no longer be investing as much in foreign aid to Pakistan as it has under previous presidents unless the country contributes better to anti-terrorism measures in Afghanistan.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
Pakistan has been a staging ground for American troops in the war in Afghanistan, and the two countries’ militaries have often worked together to apprehend terrorists along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
However, Pakistan has proved to be a complicated partner, as was shown when the country allegedly knew terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was hiding in the country for years before he was tracked down by American special operatives and killed in Abottabad.
Reports surfaced last week the Trump administration was considering withholding $255 million in funding over its frustrations with the Pakistani government.