Will Trump Sink US-Pakistan Relations in 2018?

DTrump, cc Flickr Gage Skidmore, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/


The US-Pakistan relationship got off to a rocky start in 2018 when US President Donald Trump chose to publicly attack his South Asian ally in the first tweet of the year. The tweet essentially accused the Pakistani defense establishment of betrayal: Trump said that the U.S. had sent $35bn to Pakistan since the start of the War on Terror, but that Pakistan had sheltered anti-American terrorists and “given us nothing but lies and deceit.” Pakistan summoned the US ambassador to explain the president’s comments, and announced a series of high-level meetings among its politicians, military officials, and diplomats to discuss the ramifications of deteriorating ties between Islamabad and Washington. Trump’s harsh words drew praise from India and Afghanistan, but China was quick to back its close ally and defend its record of fighting Islamist terrorism.

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