Washington, Jan 3: The US blocked 255 million dollars in military aid to Pakistan and accused Islamabad of playing ‘double game’. “The (US) administration is withholding 255 million dollars in assistance to Pakistan” because its “double game” of working with US at times and with terrorists at others “is not acceptable to this administration,” US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley said. US President Donald Trump will go all out to cut off aid to Pakistan if it continues to back terrorists, she further warned.
In her meeting with the media to outline the US priorities for 2018, Nikki Haley said the US expects more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. She also clarified that withholding aid to Pakistan was not linked to Islamabad’s support for the General Assembly resolution criticising Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The White House also confirmed that the US has suspended its 255 million dollars military aid to Pakistan for now, saying the fate of such assistance will depend on Islamabad’s response to terrorism.
“We know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism, and we want them to step up and do that. In terms of specific actions, I think you will see some more details come out on that in the next 24 to 48 hours,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters. The action followed an angry tweet from President Donald Trump on Monday that the United States had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit” for “foolishly” giving Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump tweeted.
On its part, Pakistan summoned the US envoy in Islamabad to register its protest after Trump’s angry tweet. The Pakistan Foreign Office summoned Ambassador David Hale as Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua sought an explanation from him over Trump’s remarks. Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif responded immediately saying, “…Will let the world know the truth… difference between facts and fiction”. He said Pakistan had told the Trump administration that it would do “no more” for it (in the fight against terrorism).
(With agency inputs)