WASHINGTON — The Latest on the suspension of U.S. security assistance to Pakistan (all times local):
A senior U.S. administration official says there is about $2 billion at play in President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend security assistance to Pakistan.
The U.S. announced Thursday it was withholding assistance until Pakistan takes “decisive action” against Taliban militants targeting U.S. personnel in neighboring Afghanistan.
The official says it affects about $1 billion in planned military assistance, including the $255 million in foreign military financing that was put on hold in August.
Additionally, there is roughly $900 million in Coalition Support Funds at risk. Those funds are intended to reimburse Pakistan for counterterrorism operations.
The official emphasized that the money isn’t being reassigned, so it could still be available to Pakistan if it changes course. The U.S. may also make exceptions to satisfy critical U.S. national security interests.
The official was not authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity.
— AP writer Josh Lederman
The Trump administration’s frustration with Pakistan’s cooperation in fighting terrorist networks has taken the form of a suspension of security assistance provided to that nation.
Just how much money the U.S. is holding back hasn’t been announced yet. The decision to suspend the assistance follows President Donald Trump’s surprising New Year’s Day tweet that accused Pakistan of playing U.S. leaders for “fools.”
The U.S on Thursday accused Pakistan of failing to take “decisive action” against Taliban militants targeting U.S. personnel in neighboring Afghanistan.
The State Department also is accusing Pakistan of severe violations of religious freedom. It announced that it is placing Pakistan on a special watch list, pursuant to 2016 legislation. The step does not carry any serious consequences.