President Trump has been awarded a Medal of Bravery from Afghan leaders in the Logar Province for the hard line he is taking with Pakistan.
On January 4, Trump announced that the U.S. would withhold up to $2 billion in security aid for Pakistan to punish the country for harboring terrorists. While the Pakistani government angrily denied the accusation, the country did, in fact, allow Osama bin Laden to hide there until he was taken out by Seal Team 6 in a daring operation in May 2011.
"The United States has long complained that the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani networks that target American troops inside Afghanistan are allowed to take shelter on Pakistani soil," Reuters reported.
On January 1, Trump wrote on Twitter that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over 15 years but was rewarded in return with “nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools."
The Afghan elders applauded the move.
"A community gathering in Afghanistan’s Logar Province has awarded U.S. President Donald Trump a 'bravery' medal, thanking him for his tough stance against Pakistan," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.
Said Farhad Akbari, a community leader in the province, told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan on January 14 that more than 300 people at an informal “jirga,” or council, of concerned citizens agreed to award the medal to the U.S. president.
“This is a handmade medal from available gold,” Akbari said.
He said the handwritten message on the award states: “This Bravery Medal is from the Afghan people to Donald Trump, president of the United States of America.”
Akbari said the cost of the medal was about 45,000 afghanis ($645), considered a large sum for many in the region, about 60 kilometers outside of the capital, Kabul.
He said those supporting the award paid from their own funds and that he personally presented the medal to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on January 13.
Akbari, who said he fought against Taliban extremists in southeastern Logar Province in recent years, now is head of the Saadat tribe in the region and operates a construction company.
Akbari told RFE/RL that members of the community have “waited 16 years” for someone in the U.S. administration to make comments of the sort that Trump has made in recent weeks concerning Pakistan.