The United States has suspended over 1 billion US dollar security assistance to Pakistan until Islamabad takes decisive action against terror groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told media persons in Washington that despite a sustained high-level engagement by the Trump administration with Islamabad, Taliban and Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan. She said, the administration will freeze the aid payments but not allocate the money elsewhere and it would reassess it in the coming year.
Ms Nauert also said, US stands ready to work with Pakistan in combating all terrorists and hope to be able to renew and deepen the bilateral security relationship with Pakistan.
Prominent among the suspended amount include 255 million dollars in Foreign Military Funding for the fiscal year 2016 as mandated by the Congress. In addition, the Department of Defense has suspended the entire 900 million dollar of the Coalition Support Fund money to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017. The US has also placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom.
Pakistan is the only country to be put under the newly-formed list. This is for the first time that the State Department announced its Special Watch List, a new category created by the Frank R Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016. in a tweet on the New Year’s day, US President Donald Trump had accused Islamabad of giving US nothing but lies and deceit, and providing safe haven to terrorists in return for the US aid.