Trump threatens to cut Pakistan aid, says it harbors terrorists

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Trump has accused the Iranian government of backing terrorism groups, and named it as one of six Muslim-majority countries in his controversial travel ban.

Trump tweeted: "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools".

The US had considered Pakistan an ally in its fight against terrorism ever since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in NY in 2011.

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

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

Trump who returned to the White House from Mar-a-Lago in Florida where he spent his Christmas and New Year vacation did not respond to shouted questions from reporters on "what is your plan on Pakistan?" Pakistani security forces rescued American hostage Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, and their three children born during the five years they spent in captivity. "No more!", Trump said in his tweet. NBC News could not confirm that report. Several US lawmakers came out in support of Trump adopting a tough approach on Pakistan.

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

The report stated that USA officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the sensitive discussions, did not detail what conditions Pakistan would have to meet to receive the aid.

However, Vice President Mike Pence told troops at Bagram airfield in Afghanistan on December 21 that Trump had "put Pakistan on notice" that it "has much to lose from continuing to harbor terrorists".

Trump's announcement followed an increasingly tense back-and-forth between Washington and Islamabad after the US President unveiled his administration's National Security Strategy that showed Pakistan in poor light. He also expressed a desire to see India - Pakistan's arch rival - become a closer partner.