Has US President Donald Trump finally ended aid to Pakistan, something he has harped on since he started his presidential campaign two years ago? A tweet by the US president on Monday appeared to suggest this, though the US government has not yet issued an official statement.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
On Monday, Trump tweeted “the United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years... they have given us nothing but lies & deceit.” He ended the tweet by saying “No more!”
It is difficult to decipher what Trump plans to do, given his strategy of issuing blunt statements on Twitter, while also allowing conventional diplomacy to work. This is a method Trump has used in issues ranging from the crisis in North Korea to the Gulf ostracisation of Qatar, led by Saudi Arabia last year.
In August last year, Trump warned Pakistan that it could lose its status as a major US ally if it continued to back terrorist groups in Afghanistan. If Trump has indeed 'pulled the plug' on Islamabad, it will mark a major reset in regional dynamics in decades.