WASHINGTON DC — The White House said Monday that it will continue to withhold $255 million in military aid to Pakistan out of frustration over what it has characterized as Islamabad’s obstinance in confronting terrorist networks.
“The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 foreign military financing for Pakistan at this time,” a National Security Council spokesman said. “The President has made clear that the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan’s actions in support of the South Asia strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance.”
The administration first said in August it was temporarily withholding the $255 million, which was part of a $1.1 billion aid package authorized in 2016 by Congress. The money was put on hold until Pakistan agreed to do more to combat terrorist networks.
The National Security Council official said the administration would continue to review Pakistan’s level of cooperation in security areas.
President Donald Trump signaled Monday that he was prepared to cut off aid to Pakistan if the country failed to cooperate with the US.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” he wrote. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Trump announced his administration’s plans for the continuing US military engagement in Afghanistan in August, which specifically called on Pakistan to do more to fight terrorism.