Mr. Trump’s post and Pakistan’s response point to a nose-dive in the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, which has become deeply strained in recent months. In several recent high-profile visits, United States officials have repeatedly expressed frustration over Pakistan’s failure to confront terrorist networks within its borders. But Pakistani officials say they have done more than enough.
Privately, Pakistani officials say that the United States has failed in Afghanistan and is looking to blame Pakistan for that failure. Pakistani officials continue to deny that militants, especially those with the Haqqani network, which is allied with the Afghan Taliban and is responsible for many lethal attacks inside Afghanistan, have havens inside Pakistan.
During a news conference last week, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the spokesman for Pakistan’s military, warned the United States against taking any unilateral antiterrorism action on Pakistani soil.
Pakistan’s military says it is working to build a fence along the Afghan border to curb infiltration. Officials also say that the estimated 2.7 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan need to be repatriated because their presence in the country complicates action against Taliban militants. Pakistani officials say fighters from the Taliban and other groups are able to hide in settlement camps by mingling with refugees.
While there was characteristic chest thumping on the evening television talk shows, with guests lampooning the United States threats, some critics said there was indeed a need for greater introspection in Pakistan.
“There is a need to fill the gaps in our policy,” Muhammad Nawaz Chaudhry, a former Pakistani ambassador, said in an interview. “We cannot take the bilateral relationship to a dead end.”
“We are living in denial,” he added. “The world, especially the United States, is not accepting our narrative.”
As an example, Mr. Chaudhry pointed to Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founding leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group behind the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, who has continued to live openly in Pakistan despite long being one of the most-wanted militant leaders in the region, with a huge American bounty on his head.
After Mr. Trump’s tweet on Monday, a charity run by Mr. Saeed, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, was prohibited from collecting donations, according to a government order. But Mr. Chaudhry said that the order was just playing to the gallery.
“Rather than becoming belligerent,” he said, “we need to be realistic and go with the world opinion.”