White House to announce cuts in ‘security assistance’ for Pakistan

Washington (Reuters): The Trump administration is expected to announce Wednesday or Thursday plans to cut off security assistance to Pakistan, according to a Reuters report.

The backdrop: The president tweeted on January 1, threatening to pull U.S. aid dollars to Pakistan because “they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.” The U.S. has sent a total of $33 billion in aid to Pakistan since 2002.

Pakistan is a key partner in the fight against terrorism, but the U.S. has also accused it of supporting terror groups like the Haqqani Network, an independent division of the Taliban responsible for multiple attacks in neighboring Afghanistan.

The State Department declined to comment, as did White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders during her briefing Wednesday, saying, “We’ll continue to keep you posted as those decisions are finalized.”

President Trump decried U.S. assistance for Pakistan in a tweet on Tuesday, saying Washington pays “billions of dollars” to Islamabad “for nothing.”

The reported plan to cut security assistance for Pakistan also comes as the Trump administration seeks more cooperation from Islamabad as part of its strategy in Afghanistan.

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