Trump Administration Suspends All Security Assistance to Pakistan

The State Department announced on Thursday that it will suspend all security assistance to Pakistan due to what they see as a failure by Islamabad to crack down on terrorist networks within the country.

“We will not be delivering military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters, according to CNN.

She added that the value of the assistance has not been determined yet, but according to a senior State Department official it is to encompass $255 million in foreign military financing from the 2016 fiscal year, which has not yet been paid.

“We’re still working through the details of exactly what’s going to be captured there,” the official stated.

Historically, Pakistan has received around $1 billion in security assistance from the U.S., but some of that money has now been withheld. Funds have also previously been withheld by both the Obama and Trump administrations as a result of similar concerns.

Commander Patrick Evans, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said the announced freeze also applied to coalition support funds for the fiscal year 2017, which amount to $900 million.

“Security assistance funding and pending deliveries will be frozen but not canceled, as we continue to hope Pakistan will take the decisive action against terrorist and militant groups that we seek,” he said.

Civilian assistance will not be suspended, however, while some exceptions will also be made for some security funding. The State official said that if Pakistan took “specific and concrete steps” against the Taliban and Haqqani fighters, among others, the United States will provide the money.

“The United States stands ready to work with Pakistan in combating all terrorists without distinction, and we hope to be able to renew and deepen our bilateral security relationship when Pakistan demonstrates its willingness to aggressively confront the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and other terrorist and militant groups that operate from within its country,” Nauert added.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, on the other hand, argued that the decision may alienate Pakistan and push it to form a closer bond with China and Russia.

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