US President Donald Trump has reiterated that the USD 1.3 billion in aid to Pakistan will remain suspended until the country acts against militant safe heavens inside its territory.
The President’s statement came days after he 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.
“I want Pakistan to help us. We’re no longer paying USD 1.3 billion to Pakistan. We’re paying them nothing because that’s what they’ve done to help us. Nothing,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday before leaving for his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for the Thanksgiving holidays.
Over the last few days, Trump has accused Pakistan of not helping the US in its fight against terrorism.
“And I cut those payments off a long time ago. We’re not paying Pakistan any money because they’re not helping us at all and we’ll see where it all goes,” Trump said.
Early this year, Trump had announced to stop all security assistance to Pakistan.
“I hope to have a good relationship with Pakistan,” said Trump indicating that the relationship between the two countries can come back on track, if Pakistan takes action against terrorist groups and their safe havens.
“He is right in noting that Pakistan has offered tactical cooperation in return for aid while at the same time undermined strategic US objectives,” Haqqani told PTI.
Pakistani leaders, he said are being disingenuous in describing the US as “ungrateful”.
Americans have provided over $43 billion in military and economic assistance since 1954, helped build Pakistan’s conventional military capability, and bailed Pakistan out of both economic and political crises on several occasions, he said.
Haqqani, who is the director for South and Central Asia at the prestigious Hudson Institute think-tank in Washington DC, said Islamabad would continue to be tempted to go back to old transactional patterns, but not Washington.
“It is the Americans who are likely to be less interested in returning to what I describe in my book on the subject as ‘Magnificent Delusions.’ Not only do Pakistan’s ambitions in Afghanistan conflict with US plans but the two countries strongly disagree about China’s expanding influence in Asia,” Haqqani told.