Donald Trump has accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit,” saying the US was “foolish” to have given the country more than $33bn in aid.
The American President launched the scathing attack in his first tweet of 2018, claiming Pakistan “give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt” and think “of our leaders as fools”.
It follows reports the US is considering denying Islamabad $255 million in aid in a show of discontent with its efforts to fight terrorism.
Mr Trump wrote: “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.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
The President made no further comment on the issue and it was not immediately clear if his tweet signalled a decision to cut off aid to Islamabad.
Relations between the US and Pakistan have soured since Mr Trump entered the White House.
Earlier this year the President announced a “a change in our approach to Pakistan”, which he claimed “often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror”.
In a televised speech in Washington in August, he said: “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.
“Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists.”
The Trump administration later attached new conditions to financial assistance given annually to Pakistan. Washington said Islamabad would only receive the $255 million military aid if it did more to crack down on terror networks launching attacks on neighbouring Afghanistan.
The New York Times last week reported the White House was strongly considering withholding the delayed money after Pakistan refused to allow the US access to a captured militant from the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.
The militant was arrested in October by Pakistani forces as they rescued a Canadian-American…