Trump blasts Pakistan for its ‘lies & deceit’

President Donald Trump kicked off the New Year by putting Pakistan on blast, accusing the country of returning US aid with “nothing but lies & deceit” while continuing to provide the Afghan Taliban a “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.”

Trump made the comments on Jan. 1 in a scathing tweet:

It is unclear what sparked Trump’s harsh words toward Pakistan. Trump’s comments came just two days after Hafiz Seed, the leader of terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable front, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, was photographed with Walid Abu Ali, the ambassador for the Palestinian government, at a conference on Palestine and Kashmir in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi [photograph below]. The Palestinian government recalled Ali after the photograph was disseminated and described the meeting as a “mistake.” From Dawn:

“… the [Palestinian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates considered the participation of our ambassador in Pakistan in a mass rally in solidarity with Jerusalem, held […] in the presence of individuals accused of supporting terrorism is an unintended mistake, but not justified.”

Palestinian ambassador Walid Abu Ali (left) chats with Lashkar-e-Taiba emir Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed is listed by the US government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and his Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa are listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Saeed is allied with both the Taliban and al Qaeda, and is responsible for multiple terrorist attacks in India and Afghanistan. In December, Pakistan released Saeed from house arrest, much to the dismay of the US government.

Pakistan’s duplicity with terrorist groups and its relationship with the US is well documented [see Pakistan: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Terrorism?]. The Trump administration, like the Bush and Obama administrations before it, has attempted to flatter and cajole Pakistan into changing its stripes and ending its special relationship with jihadist groups such as the Afghan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Harakat-ul-Mujahideen. The Pakistani government has continued to insist its resolve to fight against terrorists “is unmatched in the world” while denouncing the designation of established terrorist groups like Hizbul Mujahideen.

The Trump administration, which has redoubled efforts to defeat the Afghan Taliban, appears to have quickly tired of Pakistan’s double dealing. There are numerous options for the administration to punish Pakistan, including trade, economic and travel restrictions, diplomatic demarches, and military options.

If Trump is truly serious about hitting back at Pakistan, expect the US to ramp up drone strikes against jihadists, and not just in the tribal areas. Baluchistan province, where the last emir of the Taliban was killed, remains the prime support zone for the Afghan Taliban.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Nikhil Deshmukh says:

    Let’s not discount the new player on the block- the great Nation of China in all of this,
    Pakistan is a longtime ally of China and Pakistan now is ever closer in the Chinese worldview and geopolitical orbit – like North Korea is the Chinese bulwark against perceived western Interests. Pakistan is it’s bulwark in South Asia and the Middle east, Meanwhile the Chinese have also cozied up to the Iranians and have pushed Iranian- Pak military ties.
    We may soon see Pakistani Airspace closed to the US under covert backing by Chinese intelligence.
    The days of taking Pakistan for granted are now long gone.

  • Simeo G Musonda Col (Ret) says:

    Lies and deceit culminate in self destruction.

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    One thing I got to admit about Donald Trump, is that when he says something, he does it. Look at Jerusalem and government policies, he commits to it, unlike previous presidents. I think the Pakistanis are going to be in more trouble, there is going to be not only drones, but I predicts American led raids in the country, which would make the killing of Osama Bin Laden like a cartoon

  • Devendra Sood says:


  • ddsmpret says:

    President Trump is right and everybody knows he is right.

  • Rosario says:

    Yes, let us see if actions measure up to the rhetoric. Hopefully someone informed Mr. Trump Pakistan also has nuclear weapons – with dubious safeguards on their access. Nice picture of two “peas in a pod” for this report Bill.

  • Dan says:

    Until the US can identify — and confirm — an alternate route for a lot of their supplies, and not use the Torkham Border Crossing, Pakistan will always have leverage over the US in AFG.

    Start using those C5’s, land them all in BGM – and make Pakistan even more redundant. They will never change.


  • KW64 says:

    While this is true, it is not a revelation we have not known for a long time but the problem still is that Pakistan controls our supply lines that do not run through Russia; so it is a risky position to take publicly.

  • Gordon Olds says:

    First off, I listen to Foreign Podicy and your segments on John Batchelor Show. You and your crew are doing important work. I recently retired as the Chief of Surveillance for Army ammunition in Japan and live in Bacolod, Philippines. My concerns are then a little more focused on activity here in the Philippines, especially on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Please include any updates you folks gather on this area of the world on your site. There are many expats living here in the Philippines. Most of us here are significantly more concerned with China in this region. Do have any recommendations on who covers China, South China Sea concerns.
    Thank you

  • Brad says:

    A very interesting and complex problem. Option 1. (Full Stick) Push the regime too much and you destabilize them… and risk an islamic fundamentalist government with nuclear weapons coming to power. Option 2. (Full Carrot) Do nothing and tolerate them playing both sides of the fence. I don’t recommend ever going full carrot or full stick. #1 is to recognize that Pakistan is NOT our friend… it never has been. The Pakistani ISI founded the Taliban and continues to support it to this day. That has to stop. #2 what is the one thing we can actually leverage against Pakistan? I think it is support for India. They could care less about our money. Oh, they’ll take it if we give it… but if we don’t then I’m sure that China or Russia will gladly step up and give them money. I think they might change their tune if we start threatening a few billion dollars of military aid to India if they continue to support terrorists who kill Americans. But just look at Iran, they have the blood of thousands of American on their hands and there were zero consequences. That equation has to change.

  • Nato21 says:

    Punish Pakistan? The only way the U.S. can continue their military presence in Afghanistan is with Pakistan’s help. The money paid to Pakistan motivates them to continue helping the U.S. Military. Convoys to Kabul, Pakistani airspace access, intelligence gathering. These things don’t happen without payment. Pakistan is tiring of the U.S. military’s endless plan of war. China is investing large amounts of money into Pakistan to facilitate economic growth and development. Pakistan is much more interested in those plans than the endless war the U.S. seems bent on.

  • pre-Boomer Marine brat says:

    The Pakistani press is near-completely sycophant with the government regarding the subject of “terrorism”. Even the major English language daily tiptoes around the topic.

    However, it one wants rational background data on how Pakistan got the way it is, delve into the columns and books of Nadeem F. Paracha at DAWN. As a teaser, Paracha’s written that the Pakistani press only “bleats”.

    He has two books out: End of the Past (part autobiography and part recent Pak history & analysis) and The Pakistan Anti-Hero (which is Pak recent history/analysis told through descriptions of those who’ve shaped it.) Both are in English and available on Amazon.

    If one’s inclined toward the “the only good Muzzie is a dead one”, forget I mentioned him. But you want cold-eyed insight, his writings are worth it.

    (BTW, DAWN quit publishing my comments a decade ago. The comment moderators over there hate my guts. I’m hardly “advertising”.)

  • conradswims says:

    Pakistan has been and continues to be an uncivilized, violent, tribal, violation of the Human Rights standards set for the in the UN standards. India spun this evil monsters off and they have just gotten worse. Isolate them!


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