USD 1.66 bn in security aid to Pakistan suspended: Pentagon

The Pentagon''s statement came days after President Trump said that Pakistan does not do "a damn thing" for the US, alleging that its government had helped al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Abbottabad.

Press Trust of India
Washington, Publish Date: Nov 21 2018 10:20AM | Updated Date: Nov 21 2018 10:20AM
USD 1.66 bn in security aid to Pakistan suspended: Pentagon

The US has suspended USD 1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan after President Donald Trump's directive, the Pentagon has said, in what experts believe is a strong signal of American frustration.

The Pentagon's statement came days after President Trump said that Pakistan does not do "a damn thing" for the US, alleging that its government had helped al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Abbottabad.

"USD 1.66 billion of security assistance to Pakistan is suspended," Col Rob Manning, spokesman of the Department of Defence, told reporters in an e-mail response to questions on Tuesday.

No further breakdown of the suspended security assistance to Pakistan was provided.

According to David Sedney, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary Defence for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia during the previous Obama administration, the blocking of military assistance to Pakistan, which began in January this year, is a strong signal of American frustration.

"But, so far Pakistan has taken no serious steps to address the core US concern - that Pakistan tolerates and often encourages groups which use violence against Pakistan's neighbours," Sedney told PTI.

"Pakistan's leaders have promised cooperation, but beyond words, serious cooperation has not happened, therefore President Trump is frustrated and so are most Americans," he said in response to a question.

"This frustration does not ignore the suffering that Pakistani people have undergone. It just asks Pakistan to recognise that it should act to help stop the suffering of others," said the Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank.

Ties between the US and Pakistan strained after Trump, while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in August last year, hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.

In September, the Trump administration cancelled USD 300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against groups like the Haqqani Network and the Taliban active on its soil.

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