Pak hits, so does US
Pakistan has struck back with words and Donald Trump with a deed.
The military and political leadership in Pakistan capped a day of anger by describing Trump's explosive tweet as "completely incomprehensible". Within a few hours, the US formally announced that it was withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan.
In his first tweet of the New Year, Trump had said Pakistan had "given us nothing but lies and deceit".
On Tuesday night, Pakistan's National Security Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi, responded: "Recent statements and articulation by the American leadership were completely incomprehensible as they contradicted facts manifestly, struck with great insensitivity at the trust between two nations built over generations and negated the decades of sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation...."
But it added that "Pakistan cannot act in haste and will remain committed" to the Afghan peace process.
Soon, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, made the widely expected announcement: "The administration is withholding $255 million in assistance to Pakistan. There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years."
"They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration," Haley told reporters at the UN.