WASHINGTON — The Latest on restrictions on U.S. security assistance to Pakistan (all times local):
The Trump administration says it is suspending security assistance to the Pakistani military until it takes “decisive action” against the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network that are targeting U.S. personnel in Afghanistan.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert did not say Thursday how much assistance was being suspended. She said details were still being worked out.
The administration is already holding up $255 million in assistance which is used by Pakistan to buy U.S. military equipment until it cracks down on extremists threatening Afghanistan.
Nauert said the latest measure would also suspend other security assistance, but did not specify what that covered, saying it was administered by the Defense Department.
Earlier Thursday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday the policy on military aid is “still being formulated.”
The Trump administration has accused Pakistan of severe violations of religious freedom in a further sign of deteriorating relations.
The State Department announced Thursday that it’s placing the South Asian nation on a special watch list. The step does not carry any serious consequences, but it comes in the wake of stiff criticism from President Donald Trump this week.
On Monday, Trump reiterated U.S. concerns that Pakistan provides safe havens for militants, saying it had played U.S. leaders for “fools.” The administration is currently holding up $255 million in military assistance for Pakistan until it cracks down on extremists threatening Afghanistan.
The State Department did not elaborate on reasons for Pakistan’s inclusion on the watch list. Pakistan’s embassy in Washington and mission at the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.