Trump starts New Year by condemning Pakistan, encouraging Iranian protesters

Trump starts New Year by condemning Pakistan, encouraging Iranian protesters

President Donald Trump slammed Pakistan for "lies & deceit" in a New Year's Day tweet that said Islamabad had played US leaders for "fools".

"They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".

Trump had earlier sent an angry, early morning tweet criticizing Pakistan.

The frequency of suspected US drone attacks near the Pakistani-Afghan border has increased notably since Trump introduced his Afghanistan strategy in August.

However, the New York Times reported Friday that Pakistan had refused to allow us access to a militant captured in October during the rescue operation for American hostage Caitlan Coleman and her family.

It was not immediately clear why Trump opted to tweet on Pakistan.

"[Pakistan] as anti-terror ally has given free to United States: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust", Pakistan's defense minister, Khurram Dastgir-Khan, said on Twitter.

The reaction of his audience was notable, analysts said, since the Pentagon has historically been one of Pakistan's defenders in Washington because of its longstanding ties to the Pakistani military, the New York Times reported. "No more", Trump said.

Lawmaker Hina Butt said Trump's criticism was "baseless".

"We have already refused to the USA mantra of "do more" for it (US)".

Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor last week asserted that the aid Pakistan received from the United States was "reimbursement for support we gave. for its fight against Al Qaeda".

As part of that, the U.S. has been giving Pakistan aid in the form of money as well as weapons and technology - often at subsidised costs - to combat terrorism on its soil.

In November, the White House condemned the release of USA -wanted militant Hafiz Saeed and said a refusal to re-arrest him would damage bilateral ties.

A few months ago, Trump declared that Pakistan "gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror". He also expressed a desire to see India - Pakistan's arch rival - become a closer partner.

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