President Trump follows through on his promise to punish Islamabad for not cooperating with counterterrorism efforts.
The Trump administration announced on Friday it will not be sending military aid totaling $255 million to Pakistan.The monetary aid was denied to the Pakistan government in response to its ineffective action against terrorists and militants on its soil. Relations between the US and Pakistan, long vital for both, have relaxed steadily since the president declared that Pakistan “gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror.” The US, has provided Pakistan more than USD 33 billion in aid since 2002.
Pakistan, has refused to give the US access to one of the abductors of the Canadian-American family who were freed early this year, the latest disagreement in the increasingly dysfunctional relationship between the countries.
The Trump administration on Friday announced the United States will deny Pakistan military aid amounting to $255 million as it expects Islamabad to take decisive action “against terrorists and militants on its soil”.
“The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time,” said a spokesperson of the President’s National Security Council in a statement to Hindustan Times.
“The President has made clear that the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan’s actions in support of the South Asia Strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance.
“The Administration continues to review Pakistan’s level of cooperation.”
The statement reflected and sealed the administration’s complete disillusionment with Pakistan, which had sought to brazenly disregard the explicit warnings issued by President Donald Trump personally and leading members of his cabinet, such as secretaries James Mattis and Rex Tillerson.
“This could be the severest blow dealt to Islamabad by this administration if it indeed decided to withhold it,” said a leading US expert on Pakistan, who did not want to be identified. “There is more coming,” the expert added.
Defense Secretary James Mattis previously stalled a $50 million aid package to the country in July by withholding a certification that Pakistan had done enough to fight the Haqqani Network.