U.S. suspends entire security aid to Pakistan
WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday suspended an undisclosed amount of security aid to Pakistan until Islamabad takes “decisive” action against all the terrorist groups.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told a news briefing that the suspension is not a permanent cutoff at this time and did not affect civilian aid to Pakistan.
She said security assistance will be frozen, but not canceled, as America continued to hope Pakistan will take the decisive action against terrorist and militant groups that are destabilizing the region and targeting US personnel.
The US official said the suspension includes foreign military financing (FMF), which funds purchases of U.S. military hardware, training and services, and coalition support funds (CSF), which reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations.
The department declined to say exactly how much aid would be suspended, saying the numbers were still being calculated and included funding from both the State and Defense departments.
“Our hope is that they will see this as a further indication of this administration’s immense frustration with the trajectory of our relationship and that they need to be serious about taking the steps we have asked in order to put it on more solid footing,” a senior State Department official told reporters.
Reuters adds: Two other US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the amount suspended would total more than $255 million. Earlier this year Washington suspended $255 million in FMF.
“It’s north of $255 million,” said one U.S. official.
The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday.
Tense ties between the uneasy allies nosedived on Jan. 1 when U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter against Islamabad’s “lies and deceit” despite $33 billion in aid and the White House warned of “specific actions” to pressure Pakistan.