The White House will announce this week that it will withhold money to Pakistan for “security assistance.” The report comes after President Trump warned the country earlier this week over its failure to take a tougher stance against terrorism.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” he tweeted Monday. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday that more details about actions against Pakistan would be forthcoming.
Washington has confirmed it will withhold $255 million in U.S. military aid to Pakistan this year, a threat it issued last August when Trump announced his Afghan policy, which took aim at neighboring Pakistan and demanded an end to Islamabad's alleged support for the Afghan Taliban.
Pakistan denies supporting militants, pointing to its own war against extremist groups battling to overthrow the government.
At a top security meeting on Tuesday, Pakistan's civilian and military leadership said Trump's tweet ran counter to meetings held with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis following the August announcement of Trump's Afghan policy. A statement after the meeting described talks with Tillerson and Mattis as "robust and forward-looking." It also said Trump's New Year's Day tweet was "completely incomprehensible." (Fox News)
Ayaz Sadiq, speaker of Pakistan's lower House of Parliament, told reporters this week a strategy is being discussed in the Parliament’s national security committee following Trump’s tweet.
"A balanced response is needed that would preserve the country's dignity while engaging with the U.S.," Sadiq said. "We have to look as to why questions were raised about" Pakistan.
Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told local Geo TV Wednesday that the country would like to continue working with the U.S. but will not "compromise on national interests and prestige."
"Allies don't fight," he added, saying that "the U.S. should realize how Pakistan has been cooperative in the war against terror."