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Wednesday Nov 21 2018
Web Desk

Everything Trump has ever said about Pakistan

Web Desk
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, on November 20, 2018 / AFP

US President Donald J. Trump's latest tirade against Pakistan on Twitter is not the first time he has used the social media website to speak on relations between the two countries.

Trump has been criticised in the past for using Twitter to attack foreign governments, without, at times, taking his advisers or administration into confidence. Barbed comments have been tweeted at North Korea, China and Iran, amongst others. Trump is also famously known to seesaw in his perspectives and opinions.

We look back at his statements about Pakistan - as US president, on the campaign trail, and before entering the political arena.

'They do nothing for us'

Trump's most recent tweets about Pakistan came on November 19, when he alleged that Pakistan "would take our money and do nothing for us."

"....We no longer pay Pakistan the $Billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!" the US president tweeted.

In an earlier tweet, Trump said the US had “paid Pakistan billions of dollars and they never informed us he [Osama bin Laden] was living there.” 

A day earlier during an interview, Trump alleged that Pakistan did not do “a damn thing” for the United States and accused Islamabad of helping al Qaeda chief hide there.

‘Nothing but lies and deceit’

Pakistan was caught unaware on New Year's Day as Trump accused it of lying and deceit, rowing back from his more conciliatory tweets and statements about the country in the past few months.

'Better relationship'

Late last year, after a US-Canadian couple and their children were rescued by the Pakistan security forces, Trump thanked the country for its cooperation.

'Valued Partner'

In 2017, eight months after being elected the president of the United States, in a broad interview to the New York Times, Trump called Pakistan a “valued partner” but castigated it for harbouring criminals and terrorist.

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond."

"Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists. In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner."

'Fantastic people'

Once Trump won the presidential elections, he had a phone conversation with the then-Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif. The unusual read-out of the conversation is reproduced below:

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.

When Trump was asked to visit the country, he called it “a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people.”

'Best friends'

The same year, in an interview to The Hindustan Times, Trump said he was willing to play a mediatory role between arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

“Well, I would love to see Pakistan and India get along, because that’s a very, very hot tinderbox... That would be a very great thing. I hope they can do it.”

A few days later, speaking at an event organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition event, he said that India and the United States are “going to be best friends.” Further adding: “There isn't going to be any relationship more important to us."

'I alone can solve'

In March 2016, on an Easter Sunday, more than 70 people were killed in a suicide attack in a park in Lahore. Trump, who had by then announced his candidacy for the US presidency, tweeted about the bombing promising to “solve it.”

Then in June, Trump said that people with roots in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia pose threats to the United States.

Nuclear weapons

In 2014, Trump, then a US businessman and a reality TV star, asked the US Secretary of State John Kerry whether he was aware that Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Kerry never responded.

'Some ally'

A few months later, he brought up the raid again and questioned then-US President Barack Obama’s policy to consider Pakistan as an ally state.

'Not our friend'

In 2011, after the US raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Trump launched this tirade against the country.