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White House confirms suspension of military aid to Pakistan

White House confirms suspension of military aid to Pakistan

Jan 03, 2018 - 09:53

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): As relations between the allies nosedive, the White House has confirmed suspending $255 million in military aid to Pakistaninfo-icon.

“The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in foreign military financing (FMF) for Pakistan at this time,” White House spokesman Raj Shah told a media briefing in Washington.

In his first New Year tweet on Monday, President Donald Trump blasted Pakistan for basing its relationship with the US on “nothing but lies and deceit”. He

The US had given $33 billion in aid to Pakistan over the last 15 years but in return “they give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistaninfo-icon”, Trump alleged.

The Congress has already appropriated the money for providing military training and equipment to Pakistan.

Hours after the Trump tweet, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council said: “Pakistan’s actions in support of the South Asia strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship…”

President Trump had already conveyed the message to Islamabad, making it clear that “the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil”, he added.

The $255 million is part of a $1.1bn aid package authorised in 2016 by the Congress. The money has been put on hold until Pakistan agrees to do more to combat terrorist networks.

The Trump administration is increasing cuts on reimbursements to Pakistan by withholding $255m from the FMF. Added to the $350m withheld from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), the annual US aid package for Pakistan will fall from $1,100m (1.1bn) to less than $500 million.

The US blames Pakistan for its failure to cooperate fully on America’s fight against terrorism, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.

Separately, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told journalists: "Our goal is that we know that they can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that," told reporters.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC) voiced "deep disappointment" at the allegations levelled by Donald Trump. The accusations struck at the trust between the two countries and negated the sacrifices rendered by Pakistani, it said.

Chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and attended by high-level civil-military leadership, the meeting said Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism primarily using its own resources and at a great cost to its economy.

Participants slammed Trump's allegations as puzzling because they were in contrast to the "positive direction" US and Pakistani officials had been pursuing through close interaction after Washington rolled out its South Asia policy in August.

The allegations were incomprehensible as they contradicted facts, struck with great insensitivity at the trust between the two nations built over generations, and negated the decades of sacrifices made by Pakistan.

The NSC noted it was due to Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts over the last several years that scores of terrorist organisations based in Afghanistan had been unable to expand.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud


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