WASHINGTON: The White House has said it wanted to see Pakistan do more to fight terrorism and that it would likely announce actions to pressure Islamabad within days.
“Our goal is that we know that they can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.
“In terms of specific actions, I think you’ll see some more details come out on that in the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Do more to stop terrorism
The US accused Pakistan on Tuesday of playing a “double game” on fighting terrorism and warned Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain US aid.
“They can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
The White House said it would likely announce actions to pressure Pakistan within days, shortly after US Ambassador Nikki Haley said at the United Nations that Washington would withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan.
”There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years,“ Haley told reporters. ”They 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.”
The comments followed an angry tweet from the US President Donald Trump on Monday that the United States had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit” for “foolishly” giving Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the past 15 years.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he tweeted.
Pakistan civilian and military chiefs on Tuesday rejected “incomprehensible” US comments and summoned American Ambassador David Hale to explain Trump’s tweet.
Relations with Washington have been strained for years over Islamabad’s alleged support for Haqqani network militants, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban.
‘Pakistan thinks US leaders are fools’
Trump on Monday said that the US ‘foolishly’ gave aid to Pakistan over the course of 15 years but Islamabad remained deceitful by providing safe havens to ‘terrorists’ from Afghanistan.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
Last year, the Pakistan Army while rejecting the Trump administration’s pressure to do more in the fight against terrorism, insisted that Pakistan had done enough and could not do more for anyone.