“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than $33bn in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”

US President Donald Trump said this in his first tweet of 2018.

Trump threatened to cut off aid over what he said were its “lies and deceit” in offering “safe haven to terrorists.”

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Last week, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was seriously weighing whether to withhold $255m in already delayed aid to Islamabad over its failure to crack down more effectively on terror groups in Pakistan.

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US-Pakistani ties, long contentious, have taken a nosedive under Trump, who in August declared that “Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror.”

Last month, Trump had already hinted that he may cut off the aid.

“We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help,” he said while unveiling his national security strategy.

And in late December, Vice President Mike Pence told American troops during a visit to Afghanistan, “President Trump has put Pakistan on notice.”

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