ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2018

U.S. relations strain further after Trump's tweet

13 January 2018, 05:36 | Erica Roy

Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir

Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir

On Monday, that is the very first day of the new year Donald Trump-the US President threatened to cut all aids to Pakistan after blaming it to not have given anything in return except for "lies and deceit".

In the latest sign of deteriorating ties between the U.S. and Pakistan, the American leader launched an attack on Twitter, saying Pakistan gave Washington "nothing but lies and deceit" in return for "billions of dollars in aid". The US president added that his country's operations in Afghanistan were being affected because Islamabad provided "safe haven" to terrorists.

"We will respond to President Trump's tweet shortly inshallah.Will let the world know the truth.difference between facts & fiction." tweeted Pakistan's foreign minister Khawaja Asif, just minutes after Trump's tweet.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said: "we have already told the U.S. that we will not do more, so Trump's "no more" does not hold any importance..."

Trump's tweet reflects the growing frustration of the U.S. administration in dealing with Pakistan on the issue of escalating violence in Afghanistan.

In August, Trump warned that Pakistan had "much to lose" if it failed to cooperate with the U.S.in Afghanistan.

The Trump administration also informed the Congress that it was putting the total amount of assistance into an escrow account that Pakistan could access only if it take actions against safe havens of terrorist in tribal areas.

"President Donald Trump tweet on Pakistan's duplicitous position over the past 15 years is vindication that the war on terror is not in bombing Afghan villages and homes but in the sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan", Karzai said in a Twitter post. Asif also said Pakistan did not need U.S. aid.

Trump's verbal onslaught triggered a series of sharp responses from top Pakistani leadership, including the defence and information ministers.

Trump's harsh words drew praise from Pakistan's old foe, India, and neighbouring Afghanistan, but long-time ally China defended Pakistan's record of combating "terrorism".

The US is upset over Pakistan freeing 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed from house arrest in November previous year.

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).

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