United Nations: President Donald Trump is ready to go to "great lengths" to stop all funding for Pakistan as the country continues to harbour and support terrorism, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said.
Haley's comment came a day after Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but "lies and deceit" and providing "safe haven" to terrorists in return for $33 billion aid over the last 15 years. Speaking to reporters at a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York, Haley alleged Pakistan of playing "double-game" with the US for years.
"The president is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding for Pakistan as they continue to harbour and support terrorism," said Haley.
"Pakistan has played a double game for years. 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," she said.
The US on Tuesday announced that it is withholding its $255 million military aid to Pakistan. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, speaking at her daily news conference, described Pakistan as an "important partner" and said Islamabad must do more to combat terrorism.
"The United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against the Haqqani Network and other militants who are operating from its soil," said Nauert. "Pakistan is an important partner. We have a lot of issues in that region. Pakistan knows that, we all know that, and we try to work carefully together on some of those issues.
I don't want to say that Pakistan can do more, but Pakistan knows what it needs to do," she said.
Nauert said the decision was taken in August and Pakistan would need to "earn" such assistance through sincere action.
"They need to earn, essentially, the money that we have provided in the past in foreign military assistance, they need to show that they are sincere in their efforts to crack down on terrorists," she said. Nauert said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, who visited Pakistan in the last couple of months, had conveyed the same message to the country's leadership.
The White House also defended Trump and asked Pakistan to do more to combat terrorism.
Pakistan has expressed "deep disappointment" over the US statements, saying the accusations strike with "great insensitivity" at the trust between the two countries. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in a tweet challenged President Trump's claim that the US has given Pakistan more than $33 billion dollars as aid over the last 15 years, saying verification by an audit firm would prove the US president wrong.