Pakistan’s prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has declared himself mystified by US threats to cut off funding, saying that US financial assistance was “very, very insignificant” and that Pakistan was “on the forefront of the war on terror”.
The Guardian report, Abbasi said that the US was considering cuts of up to $2bn in security assistance were bewildering because of the total aid Pakistan civilian and military actually received was a tiny fraction of that amount.
“I am not sure what US aid has been talked here,” Abbasi said in his office in Islamabad. “The aid in the last five years at least has been less than $10m a year. It is a very, very insignificant amount. So when I read in the paper that aid at the level of $250m or 500 or 900 has been cut, we at least are not aware of that aid.”
Donald Trump used his first tweet of 2018 to threaten to withhold aid to Pakistan because of what he called its “lies and deceit” over terrorism, claiming: “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help.” The president has that the US had “foolishly” given Pakistan $33bn over the past 15 years.