A day after suspending military aid of $255 million to Pakistan, the US has accused the country of “playing double games for years”. Justifying the move to suspend the aid, US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley said that while Pakistan worked with the US, it also harboured terrorists.
"They (Pakistan) work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration. We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism," said Haley.
Hinting that a bigger jolt is expected for Pakistan in near future, the US official further said that US President Donald Trump was “willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding”.
"The (U.S.) President is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding for Pakistan as they continue to harbour and support terrorism" said Haley.
"We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism," she added.
In her meeting with the media to outline the US priorities for 2018, Haley, who represents the administration's hawkish positions, mentioned Pakistan's terror ties as the third area of concern after Iran and North Korea.
Meanwhile, the White House said that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism and that they want the country to "step up and do that". It further said that some more details on "specific action" can be expected in next 24-48 hours.
#WATCH: "We know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism, and we want them to step up and do that. In terms of specific actions, I think you will see some more details come out on that in the next 24 to 48 hours" says White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders pic.twitter.com/NJCGUaWOg7
— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018
In his first Tweet of the New Year, Trump had called out Pakistan for giving "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan" while making "fools" of US leaders. "No More" continuing aid to Islamabad, he declared.
Haley said that withholding aid to Pakistan was not linked to Islamabad's support for the General Assembly resolution criticising Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel although she had suggested before the vote that those backing it could lose aid.
It "has nothing to do with vote on Jerusalem. It is entirely connected to Pakistan's harbouring of terrorists," she said.
"However, as I said in December, we won't forget the Jerusalem vote," she added.
This came after a meeting of Pakistan National Security Committee (NSC), chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, hit out at Trump's tweet from Monday, saying that the remarks made target the trust between the two countries.
Held late Tuesday evening, the committee expressed "deep disappointment" at the allegations made by Trump, according to Dawn News. Trump - in his first message of 2018 - has charged Pakistan for basing its relations with the US on “nothing but lies and deceit”.
Trump had on Monday tweeted that Pakistan had given "lies & deceit" to US in return of the aid.
"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. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" he said.
(With agency inputs)