Donald Trump administration suspends over $1.15 billion aid to Pakistan

After putting Pakistan on notice earlier this week, US President Donald Trump walked the talk as his administration suspended all security assistance to Pakistan, beginning from Friday, until Islamabad acts against terror groups.


This comes days after Trump accused Pakistan of providing “safe haven” to terrorists and feeding the US nothing but “lies and deceit”. The suspension of aid money would mean Pakistan will lose out on more than $1.15 billion which it has been receiving over the years. The payment will remain frozen until at least the end of the year.

“Today, we can confirm that we are suspending national security — or, excuse me — we are suspending security assistance only to Pakistan at this time,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters.

Despite sustained pressure by the Trump administration on Pakistan, Nauert said, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside the country.

“Until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against terror groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network — we consider them to be destabilising the region and also targeting US personnel — the US will suspend that kind of security assistance to Pakistan,” Nauert said.

Explained: What Trump’s Threat To Cut Pakistan Aid Means
Prominent among the suspended amount includes USD 255 million in Foreign Military Funding (FMF) for the fiscal year 2016 as mandated by the Congress.

In addition, the Department of Defense has suspended the entire USD 900 million of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) money to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017.

“It has been more than four months since the president’s speech, and despite a sustained high-level engagement by this administration with the government of Pakistan, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilise Afghanistan and also attack US and allied personnel,” Nauert said.

“Pakistan has greatly suffered from terrorism, and the security services have been effective in combating the groups that target Pakistani interests, such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Pakistani Taliban. We have now worked closely with Pakistan against these groups,” she said.

“Now, just as we have made Pakistan’s enemies our own, we need Pakistan to deny safe haven to or lawfully detain those terrorists and militants who threaten US interests,” she added.

This would also mean the US would stop delivery of military equipment, but Washington maintained they would make exemptions on a case-by-case basis. The US also hoped to renew its bilateral security relationship when Pakistan is willing to aggressively counter the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

“So we will not be delivering military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law. I think that part answers your questions. There may be some exemptions that are made on a case-by-case basis, if they’re determined to be critical to national security interests,” Nauert told reporters.

Nauert said that the US had a series of discussions with Pakistan about terrorism, and had asked the country the need to take more decisive action against terror groups. This is something that should not come as a surprise to Pakistan, she said.

“Because the President, Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Mattis have all had conversations with Pakistani officials, alerting them to our concerns that Pakistan has not done enough to detain, to take care of – and when I say take care of, I mean round up – terrorist and militant groups operating from within Pakistan,” the State Department spokesperson said.

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Source: indianexpress

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