US President Donald Trump has put Pakistan in the crosshairs in his first missive of 2018, accusing the country of “lies and deceit” despite receiving billions of dollars in American aid.

Despite increasing pressure from the Trump administration, Pakistan continues to be defiant, believing its patrons such as China and Saudi Arabia — to whose capitals its politicians and generals keep running to help and advice – will save it from American wrath.

Trump’s warning came days after his administration leaked the news that it was planning to withhold $255 million in US aid till Islamabad demonstrated that it was serious about cracking down on terrorism that it openly sponsors, and for which it has been censured by the United Nations and the international community.