Donald J Trump marked the
beginning of the new year by accusing Pakistan for deceiving United States and
harbouring terrorists while accepting billions of dollars in foreign aid. In one
of his new year day tweets, he tweeted “The United States has foolishly given
Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they
have given U.S nothing but lies & deceit, they give safe haven to the
terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

The U.S administration
has not specified the exact amount, but they would be holding $255 million in
assistance to Pakistan. This was not Trump’s first attack on Pakistan.  The Trump administration had been considering
an aid freeze over months now. On August 22 2017 in a policy speech on
Afghanistan, Trump said “Pakistan has also sheltered the same organisations
that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan
billions and billions of dollars. At the same time, they are housing the very
terrorists that we are fighting.”

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National Security
Committee(NSC) in Pakistan expressed its disappointment over U.S leadership by
criticising the comments being “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”. Pakistani officials also condemned
the U.S calling it a “friend killer” whose attitude neither matches a friend
nor an ally.


historical relations

U.S aid to Pakistan has
been a point of tension and controversy for both countries for decades. During
the Cold War, the U.S showered Pakistan with money so it would help drive
Soviet Union troops out of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Just after an year of
successful departure of Soviet Union from Afghanistan, U.S cut off military aid
to Pakistan. Later, Afghanistan plunged into a civil war putting Pakistan in a
vulnerable position and making it feel abandoned by U.S.

After 9/11, U.S again
approached Pakistan to tackle the Al-Qaeda and Taliban which had given shelter
to Osama Bin Laden. U.S wanted Pakistan to help it fight against Afghanistan
but Pakistan had built strong relations with Taliban after they won the Afghan
civil war so they didn’t really want Taliban to be defeated.

So basically, Pakistan
doesn’t consider Taliban and the Haqqani network as enemies instead it uses
them to ensure that they support Pakistan. Hence, Pakistan plays a double game
taking billions of dollars from U.S to help fight the “war against terrorism”
and at the same time providing safe havens for the Taliban inside Pakistani
borders. Pakistan claims to have fought terrorism by sacrificing lives of
innocent people, but the reality is that nobody believes it. U.S knows about
Pakistan’s double game and has made efforts to cut the military aid in the past
also during Obama administration. Pakistan has not changed its attitude even
after the cut in military aid which has caused a further decline in U. S’s
interest to support Pakistan. The graph below shows how the U.S aid has
decreased over the years:



Repercussions for U.S

Pakistan is stubborn and
has not done much to justify their war against terrorism while taking financial
aid from the U.S. This is because Pakistan is aware of the fact that U.S will
be hesitant to lose Pakistani intelligence, supply of troops and increased
nuclear and terror adventurism. By putting more pressure on Pakistan, Trump may
end up alienating it and driving it closer to extremists in Afghanistan including
Taliban and Haqqani network. Pakistan may also retaliate by closing overland
access and shutting down supply routes to NATO forces. It may also get closer
to U.S’s rivals Russia and China. It is known that China has made more than
$50billion investment in infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of its
Belt and Road trade initiative which causes Pakistan to believe that China will
not only bail it out but also provide a veto in the UN resolutions on


Impact on PAK

Nevertheless, Chinese
higher interest loans are no substitute of American dollars and high tech
weaponry. China cannot fill the shoes of U.S and it is not even sure that they
will support Pakistan in the long run. The lack of U.S money could prove
detrimental to modernise Pakitani military equipment which is dependent on U.S
technology. Pakistan is also dependent on aid from western led institutions
such as World Bank, IMF and ADB where U.S can U.Se its leverage with European
aliies to compel Pakistan. It is also under pressure to curb terror funding
through the International Financial Action Task force.






How will it help India?

India welcomed Trump’s
harsh tweet on Pakistan saying that “Our stand is vindicated as far as the role
of Pakistan is concerned in perpetrating terrorism”. India has always believed
that Pakistan though being a sufferer itself has not taken decisive actions to
curb terrorism instead has supported it by providing safe havens to terrorists.
India has raised concerns about the military aid in the past also and U.S
officials are aware of the view that Pakistan uses the military aid to target
India for cross border terrorism.

Trump’s move to
pressurise Pakistan to take definitive actions against terrorism will help
India in the long run because India has always been a terrorist target. It will
lead to strong U.S-India relations and a relief in terms of cross border


U. S. officials have left
open the prospect of releasing the aid should Pakistan prove
cooperative. Maintaining good relations with Pakistan is important for them
too. For its part, Pakistan says it’s done more than any other nation
in the battle against terror. So, whether the U.S cancel its military aid or
Pakistan will prove itself to gain U.S confidence or will it retaliate in some
unexpected way is yet to be seen!



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