US suspends security assistance with Pakistan

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January 4, 2018

Marines shown boarding a CH-53 in Afghanistan in 2009 – Getty Images

The US has said it is suspending security assistance to Pakistan until Islamabad takes action against the Afghan Taliban.

January 4, 2018

Marines shown boarding a CH-53 in Afghanistan in 2009 – Getty Images

The US has said it is suspending security assistance to Pakistan until Islamabad takes action against the Afghan Taliban.

The State Department's declaration is a sign of the growing frustration in Washington over Pakistan's perceived lack of co-operation in fighting terror networks.

It is not clear how much money and material is being withheld as a result of the move.

The vagueness of the declaration suggests it is designed to back up the President's New Year's Day tweet accusing Pakistan of playing US leaders for "fools".

Mr. Trump said the US had "foolishly" given Pakistan more than $33bn (£24.4bn) in aid over the last 15 years, only to receive "lies and deceit" in return.

He also repeated long-standing allegations that the country provides "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan".

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the restrictions covered security assistance above and beyond the $255m (£188m) for Pakistani purchases of US military equipment that the Trump administration held up back in August.

Ms. Nauert made clear that this money was still blocked.

The target of this new action is payments of so-called Coalition Support Funds that the US pays to Pakistan to reimburse it for its counter-terrorism operations.

This money is usually paid later in the year and already need to be certified before being sent to Pakistan, meaning the effect of Thursday's announcement was unclear.


Courtesy/Source: Sky News