US may suspend $2B in security aid to Pakistan

Pakistan says US failed to act as ally, turned Islamabad into a ‘whipping boy’ because of its own shortcomings

US may suspend $2B in security aid to Pakistan

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S. could suspend around $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan due to its failure to crack down on terrorist networks within its borders, according to media reports Friday.

A senior official in President Donald Trump’s administration spoke anonymously to reporters about the funds.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert announced Thursday that nearly all aid to Pakistan would be suspended after accusing the country of providing safe havens to terrorists fighting in Afghanistan.

It includes $255 million in Foreign Military Funding for the 2016 fiscal year as mandated by Congress, she said.

In addition, the Pentagon has suspended the entire $900 million of the Coalition Support Fund to Pakistan for fiscal 2017.

Nauert said the move would allow the administration, which will freeze the aid payments but not allocate the money elsewhere, to reassess the situation in the coming year.

Pakistan pushed back, saying the U.S. needs to show more appreciation after Islamabad has fought terrorism “largely from its own resources” which it said cost over $120 billion in 15 years.

Pakistan’s foreign minister said Friday the U.S. has failed to act as an ally and has turned Islamabad into a “whipping boy” for its own shortcomings in Afghanistan.

“We do not have any alliance” with the United States," Khawaja Muhammad Asif said in an interview with local media. “This is not how allies behave.”

In addition, Pakistan’s Foreign Office in a statement said “arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting of goalposts” are counterproductive to addressing common threats.

"The emergence of new and more deadly groups such as Daesh in Afghanistan calls for enhancing international cooperation,” it said.

Tensions between Washington and Islamabad have risen since Trump said on Twitter Monday that the U.S. had “foolishly” given billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan.

"President Trump quoted a figure of $33 billion given to Pakistan over the last 15 years. He can hire a U.S.-based audit firm on our expense to verify this figure & let the world know who is lying & deceiving," Asif responded in a tweet Tuesday.

Additionally, the U.S. on Thursday placed Pakistan on a special watch list for “severe violations of religious freedom”.

Pakistan said the report was "not objective" and that it would seek clarification from the U.S. regarding its rationale and implications for placing it on the list

"The designation overlooks the significant achievements of Pakistan in the area of human rights," it said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ocak 2018, 12:44
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