Trump's threat to rescind Pakistani aid 'deeply hurtful', prime minister candidate says


A candidate for Pakistan’s upcoming election for prime minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, lambasted President Trump for a tweet he sent out in January, in which he criticized the U.S. for providing $33 billion in aid to Pakistan over the course of the past 15 years.

“They have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump wrote in the tweet. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

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“President Trump’s tweet, while I understand it reflects some of the emotions of the American people, it was deeply hurtful to the people of Pakistan, particularly those like myself who have lost loved ones in this fight against extremism,” Zardari told FOX Business’ David Asman. “I feel, unfortunately, I don’t think the president intended to do so, but this tweet sends the wrong message.”

Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have been further strained lately due to Pakistan’s alleged support for the Haqqani militant network, an Afghan guerrilla insurgent group. Now, the Trump administration plans withholding the $250 million aid that it delayed sending in August, a National Security Council Official told Fox News.

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At the time, Pakistan’s foreign minister, Khawaj M. Asif responded in tweet, vowing to “let the world” know the “difference between facts and fiction.”

Zardari criticized The U.S. for its past alleged support of the Taliban during the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan in the 1980s. The U.S. government supported the Taliban and the Mujahideen in the Iran war,” Zardari said. “They forced the Pakistani state and the government to support these forces. My mother warned the American president, George H. W. Bush, but I don’t want to fight about the past. I want to look forward.”

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