U.S. President Donald Trump froze most types of security aid to Pakistan on Thursday, complaining that the U.S. has given Islamabad $33 billion in aid toward the war against terror since 2002. Now Pakistanis are uniting to send a message right back at Trump by posting images of cheques made out to Trump for that $33 billion in aid.
In other words, it looks like Pakistanis are telling Donald Trump, “Here, you can have your money back.”
Donald Trump cuts aid to Pakistan
Trump claims that Pakistan has given nothing but “lies and deceit” in exchange for the aid while Islamabad allegedly provides “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.” He wants to see Islamabad take “decisive action” against the Taliban in Afghanistan, reports ABC. A Trump administration official reportedly said there’s nearly $2 billion in aid at risk.
Of the at-risk funds, $1 billion comes in the form of planned military assistance, while another $900 million is in Coalition Support Funds, which are meant to pay reimburse Islamabad for its counterterrorism operations. According to ABC, the administration official said that the U.S. isn’t shifting those funds elsewhere, so Pakistan could change course and still get the funds.
Although Trump’s move seems drastic, it’s a continuation of a policy that was started during the Obama administration. Aid to Pakistan peaked in 2007 at$3.5 billion, according to The Los Angeles Times, but the Obama administration slashed it to approximately $1 billion annually over frustration with the situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistanis send Donald Trump messages
However, one thing that makes the current administration’s treatment of Pakistan different than the Obama administration’s treatment has to do with President Donald Trump’s use of social media. He uses Twitter frequently to sound off on various topics, sometimes in what can seem to some like a petulant manner. Such use of social media makes it easy for anyone in the world to troll the U.S. president, or to simply let him know how angry they are with something he said or did.
President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is well-known around the world, so Pakistanis used the social network he seems to like the most against him by posting images of cheques made out to him for $33 billion, as if to send a message that he can have that $33 billion in aid he complained about back.
In addition to the images of the cheques posted on social media, Pakistanis also burned images of Donald Trump and the U.S. flag in Lahore on Friday to protest U.S. aid cuts. Demonstrators also waved images of the U.S. president and flag with red X’s across them during the rally.