U.S. Withholds Pakistan

The United States said it withholds nearly $900 million in security backing to Pakistan on Thursday. It suggested the security aid would continue if Pakistan takes actions against the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban militant groups.

The U.S. State Department revealed the decision to suspend help comes from the Trump administration’s frustration over Pakistan for not taking enough efforts against two groups. These groups had taken sanctuaries in Pakistan to execute attacks on Afghanistan that killed Afghan, U.S., and other forces.

The department did not reveal exact numbers of how much aid had been suspended. It conveyed that it was being calculated and included aid from both state and defense departments.

U.S. officials outlined that two main categories of aid have been suspended. First, foreign military financing (FMF), which backs buying U.S. military hardware, training, and services. Second, coalition support funds (CSF), which supports Pakistan financially for counter-terrorism operations.

Officials highlighted said there could be exceptions to back critical U.S. national security priorities. Some U.S. lawmakers also shared Trump administration’s frustrations. They held Pakistan responsible for engaging in a double game by offering sanctuary to militant groups and then denial by Islamabad after a crack down on them.

The U.S. officials asserted that the suspension of funding did not specifically impact civilian aid to Pakistan. They highlighted the aid would continue if Islamabad takes definite action against groups.

“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.

He hoped Pakistan will view this step as an inventive, not as a punishment.