Trump thunder: No more, Pak
New Delhi: Donald Trump has publicly told Pakistan "no more" after describing the US aid policy towards the South Asian ally as "foolish".
The US President is known to fly off the handle while tweeting his morning thoughts. But his first tweet of the New Year around 7.30am in Florida stood out because it came close on the heels of The New York Times reporting that America is considering a proposal to withhold $255 million in aid after Pakistan showed intransigence on confronting terrorist networks.
On Monday, Trump tweeted: "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!"
In Islamabad, foreign minister Khawaja Asif met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and tweeted: "Will let the world know the truth... difference between facts and fiction.... We have already refused to the US mantra of 'do more' for it. We have told the Trump administration that we will do 'no more' for it. The 'do more' does not hold any importance."
Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, cautioned that people should not "overstate the significance of Trump's tweet for policy". But Kugelman added: "Was Trump's tweet meant to preview a coming shift in policy? I'd certainly bet on the possibility."
The BJP congratulated Trump, credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's diplomacy and took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi. "Dear RahulG, ...are you rushing Aiyers to hug and console Pak over the snub?" BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao tweeted.
Additional reporting by Reuters and PTI