WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump has once again defended his administration’s decision to pull hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying the country doesn’t do “a damn thing for us”.
Speaking to Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday, Trump alleged that Pakistan does “not do a damn thing” for the United States and accused Islamabad of helping Osama bin Laden hide there.
“You know, living – think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer,” Trump said, referring to bin Laden and his former compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The compound was demolished shortly after United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group forces killed bin Laden there in a late-night helicopter raid in 2011.
“But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” he added. “And we give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year . … [bin Laden] lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year — which we don’t give them anymore, by the way. I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”
The ties between the two countries strained after Trump, while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in August last year, hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to “agents of chaos” that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has “much to lose” by harbouring terrorists.