Trump and aid

In his first tweet of the new year, US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to Pakistan for accusations of lying to the US and offering 'little help' in hunting terrorists in Afghanistan.

Not only Trump’s tweet sound highly undiplomatic, what provoked Mr Trump to single out Pakistan remains quite unclear. Just a few weeks ago, Trump praised Pakistan for starting to 'respect the United States.'

Back in US, some policymakers have been debating that any rebuke to Pakistan risk throwing an important partner further into the hands of a rising China, which has already been favouring Pakistan through investments in infrastructure projects and other forms of aid.

On the other hand, many of Pakistani news analysts are arguing that US cutting down funds to Pakistan will not have a significant effect on Pakistan’s economy. There can be a period of difficulty if US stops all aid, but not a complete collapse. Many analysts believe that if US happened to curtail aid to Pakistan, China would quickly step in to fill the gap.

When it comes to Pakistan, it is true that US counter-terrorism and strategic objectives offset its concerns over support for terrorist activity within Pakistan's borders.

In this backdrop. Trump's latest tweet doesn't seem anything more than an undiplomatic move, taken out of US frustration at itself for not achieving any stability in Afghanistan, even after more than 16 years of conflict.

0100 hours
Sunday 7 January 2018