US suspends $255 million military aid to Pak

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Washington: The United States has suspended its $255 million military aid to Pakistan for now, the White House has confirmed, saying the fate of such assistance will depend on Islamabad’s response to terrorism on its soil.

The confirmation comes on the same day when US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists in return for $33 billion aid over the last 15 years.

“The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time,” a senior administration official told on conditions of anonymity.

“The president has made clear the US 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,” he said.

The US administration continues to review Pakistan’s level of cooperation, the official said.

Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump, in his first tweet of the New Year, blasted the Pakistan leadership by saying that they have given America “nothing but lies and deceit” despite having received more than $33 billion in last 15 years.

“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump said, clearly indicating that Pakistan would no longer receive any security aid from the US till the time it sees a change in behaviour from them in fight against terrorism.

Within hours, the Pakistani Defence Ministry fired back alleging that it has got “nothing but invective and mistrust” for all the actions it took in support of America’s war against terrorism.

“Pak as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis,” the Pakistan Defence Ministry said in a tweet.

Trump who returned to the White House from Mar-a-Lago in Florida where he spent his Christmas and New Year vacation did not respond to shouted questions from reporters on “what is your plan on Pakistan?”

PTI

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