The United States government is reportedly considering to withhold USD 255 million in aid to Pakistan. PTI quoted a New York Times report as saying that the internal debate of Trump administration whether to deny Pakistan the money is a test of whether President Donald Trump will deliver on his threat to punish Islamabad for failing to cooperate on counter-terrorism operations.
“Now, the Trump administration is strongly considering whether to withhold USD 255 million in aid that it had delayed sending to Islamabad, according to American officials, as a show of dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s broader intransigence toward confronting the terrorist networks that operate there,” the New York Times report said.
“Senior administration officials met this month to decide what to do about the money, and American officials said a final decision could be made in the coming weeks,” it added.
The report further said that the relation between the two countries have chilled steadily ever since Donald Trump declared that Pakistan “gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror.”
In August, the United States—which has provided Pakistan more than USD 33 billion in aid since 2002—had said it was withholding the USD 255 million until Pakistan did more to crackdown on terrorist groups.
The NYT report comes days after US Vice President Mike Pence said in Kabul that the Trump administration has put Pakistan on notice. On Thursday, Pakistan military warned US against the possibility of taking unilateral action against armed groups on its soil, in its strongest response yet to tensions between the two allies.
(With PTI inputs)