New York: The US is suspending most aid to Pakistan because of its failure to curb terrorism enforcing President Donald Trump’s repeated warnings to Islamabad, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced on Thursday.
The freeze covers most of the security aid to Pakistan and it follows the withholding of $255 million in military aid to Islamabad that was announced earlier.
Nauert said that if Pakistan took decisive action against terrorists, it “has the ability to get this money back in the future.”
She also said that some exceptions could be made if it was determined that portions of the frozen aid were “critical to national security interests.”
Earlier on Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom.”
There were several indications that the suspension of aid to Pakistan was in the works.
In his first tweet of the New Year, Trump said that the US had given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over 15 years and accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists while making fools of US leaders with lies and deceit. “No more,” he said, of Washington’s aid to Pakistan.
Hours before the tweet, a US Special Forces soldier had been killed in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan, and four were injured in a terrorist attack.
“We make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help,” Trump said last month unveiling his National Strategic Strategy last month.
In August, he was more forthright and warned that Pakistan “has much to lose” if it persisted in aiding terrorists.