The US has suspended $1.66 billion security assistance to Pakistan on Wednesday, following US President Donald Trump accusing it for not doing enough to counter terrorism, according to a report by PTI.
“USD 1.66 billion of security assistance to Pakistan is suspended,” PTI quoted Col Rob Manning, spokesman of the Department of Defence, as saying.
On Monday, Trump had, in an interview with Fox News, stated that aid was not being dispatched to the country since they had allowed former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to hide in the country all the while receiving US money.
“He was living in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3bn a year, which we don’t give them any more. By the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us,” he said.
In a sharp response, Khan stated that during the “war on terror”, 75,000 casualties were reported in his country and over $123 billion was lost to economy, while US’s aid was ‘a mere $20 billion’.
“1. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 but Pak[istan] decided to participate in US War on Terror. 2. Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123bn was lost to the economy. US “aid” was a minuscule $20bn,” Khan posted on Twitter.
Khan said the US has made Pakistan a “scapegoat” for its failures in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are stronger than at any point since the 2001 US-led invasion.
“Instead of making Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures, the US should do a serious assessment of why, despite 140,000 NATO troops plus 250,000 Afghan troops and reportedly $1 trillion spent on war in Afghanistan, the Taliban today are stronger than ever before.”
Khan underlined how the war devastated Pakistan’s tribal areas and uprooted millions of Pakistanis from their homes. He said the country continues to provide free lines of ground and air communications to the US.
“Can Mr Trump name another ally that gave such sacrifices?” he said.
After Khan’s response, Trump tweeted: “We paid Pakistan billions of dollars and they never told us he was living there. Fools! We no longer pay Pakistan the billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another. They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!”
Relations between the previous two allies took a dip in August last year when Trump, while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy, lashed out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to “agents of chaos” that kill American forces in Afghanistan and warned that it has “much to lose” by harboring terrorists.
In September, the US said it would cancel $300 million in military aid to Pakistan over its inaction to crackdown against terrorists and militants. This is in addition to another $500 million in aid that was withdrawn earlier this year at the behest of the US Congress.