In a series of tweets issued on Jan. 1, President Trump accused Pakistan of taking U.S. aid while providing "safe haven" to terrorists. "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 and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools," Trump wrote. "They give safe-haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" Washington had been considering cutting aid to Pakistan that it has delayed paying since August 2017.

Echoing Trump’s tweets, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley the following day accused Pakistan of "playing a double game" with the U.S. "for years," and vowed to withhold $255 million in aid to the country for what Haley described as “clear reasons.”

Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have been deteriorating for several years, with the U.S. criticizing Islamabad for its alleged support for the Haqqani network, a group allied with the Afghan Taliban. In August, while unveiling the White House’s new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, President Trump had accused Pakistan of offering "safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror." The latest frustration for the Trump administration stemmed from Pakistani officials' refusal in handing over one of the militants responsible for abducting Caitlan Coleman, an American woman held captive for five years with her Canadian husband and children by the Haqqani network. U.S. officials were hoping to interrogate the abductor about the whereabouts of another American hostage, but Pakistani officials rejected U.S. demands for access

Since 2002, the U.S. has delivered billions in aid to Pakistan, but a deepening sense of distrust and betrayal has developed in the relationship. Pakistan says it has paid an enormous price as an ally in the war on terrorism.

We welcome the hardening of Washington’s stance towards Islamabad. USINPAC has been advocating for years to reevaluate military aid to Pakistan. We cannot have U.S. taxpayer money going towards terror attacks against U.S. interests from groups in Pakistan.

Sanjay Puri

Chairman,

U.S. India Political Action Committee

Washington, D.C.

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