Following President Donald Trump’s Twitter talk with action, the United States on Thursday (4 January) suspended all security assistance to Pakistan, estimated to be around $1.1 billion, the New York Times has reported.
Reflecting Washington’s frustration with Pakistan's unwillingness to act decisively against terror groups that it has been supporting over the years, the US State Department on Thursday placed the country on its ‘special watch list’ for ‘severe violations of religious freedom’. The decision was taken after the US suspended $255 million military aid to Pakistan on Tuesday (2 December).
"The president outlined a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia past year in August. At that time, he laid out [a policy] and said that Pakistan is not fulfilling its obligations," said US Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday.
"The President is simply following through on a commitment that he made [...] we know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism, and we want them to step up and do that," she said during the White House press briefing.
The US has given Pakistan over $33 billion in aid and security assistance since the beginning of its war on terror in 2001. Pakistan, however, has continued to resist pressure from the US to act against terror outfits such as the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. These terrorist groups, safe in sanctuaries inside Pakistan, have killed a large number of Afghan and American soldiers in attacks that the government in Kabul says were planned by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.
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