Pakistan is no longer an ally of the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported the Pakistani Foreign Minister as saying. He made the announcement in response to President Trump severing military aid to Pakistan.
The U.S. announced Thursday that it was cutting off $900 million in military aid to Pakistan until it acts against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani terror network.
“We do not have any alliance,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said in an interview Friday. “This is not how allies behave.”
The U.S. had been set to give a total of Pakistan $2 billion in aid. Trump said the suspension was until Pakistan clamps down on the terrorist groups operating within Pakistan.
“Today we can confirm that we are suspending national security assistance only, to Pakistan at this time until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told press.
Pakistan hit back, with the foreign minister saying America has turned Pakistan into a ““whipping boy” because of its own failures in Afghanistan. America has been at war in Afghanistan since 2001, which is now the longest war in American history.
Asif said Pakistani counter-terrorism operations have cleared the country of organized terrorist groups, but that some individuals remain among the refugee population.
“We have relative calm in Pakistan at the moment. But if we go against these people [Afghan insurgents], then the war will again be fought on our soil, which will suit the Americans,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump started the new year by hitting out against Pakistan and their support of terror. In his first tweet of 2018, 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 & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”