US President Donald Trump has said his country wants a great relationship with Pakistan but cannot do so as that country houses enemies. He said this in his first comments in 2019 on America's strained ties with Islamabad, months after he stopped USD 1.3 billion in military aid to its former ally. Addressing his Cabinet colleagues, the President said a meeting with the new leadership in Pakistan under Prime Minister Imran Khan will take place very soon. Stating that his administration has initiated peace talks with the Taliban in war-torn Afghanistan, he added that he has ended USD 1.3 billion in aid to Pakistan because "this South Asian country houses enemies".
"We want to have a great relationship with Pakistan, but they house the enemy. They take care of the enemy. We just can't do that," Trump added. "So, I look forward to meeting with the new leadership in Pakistan. We will be doing that in the not too distant future. But I ended USD 1.3 billion that we paid. I think it was water, we were just paying to Pakistan. So, I ended that," he stated.
Trump also said that Pakistan had not been fair to the United States. Earlier, in November, Trump defended his administration's decision to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying Islamabad does not do a damn thing for the US and its government helped late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Rawalpindi. "We give Pakistan USD 1.3 billion a year... (Osama) lived in Pakistan, we're supporting Pakistan, we're giving them USD 1.3 billion a year - which we don't give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don't do anything for us, they don't do a damn thing for us," Trump had stated.