Pakistan has been accused of playing a “double game” and harbouring “terrorists” by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, as the war of words continues between the two countries over military aid.
Haley’s comments come a day after President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to Pakistan for allegedly lying to the US and offering “little help” in hunting “terrorists” in neighbouring Afghanistan. “There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years,” Haley told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York. “They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration,” Haley added. Urging greater cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against “terrorism”, she said Trump “is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding for Pakistan”. On January 1, in his first tweet of the new year, Trump had said, “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 and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools”.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif is reported to have said, “We have already told the US that we will not do more, so Trump’s ‘no more’ does not hold any importance.”
Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, rejected the allegations and said her country’s cooperation was not based on aid but national interests. “We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting international terrorism and carried out the largest counter-terrorism operation anywhere in the world.”