U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday that the United States would continue to withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan until the country became a better partner in America’s fight against terrorism.
“Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration,” she said in a news conference.
Watch Haley’s remarks in the player above.
On Monday, President Donald Trump signaled his dissatisfaction with the country on Twitter. “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,” he tweeted. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
But Pakistan’s defense minister responded on Twitter by saying the U.S. has “given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.”
Mr. Trump has signaled his frustration with Pakistan in the fight against terror since he lashed out at the country during an August speech outlining his strategy in Afghanistan. That month was also the first time the administration said it would withhold aid money.
“No partnership can survive a country’s harboring of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace,” Trump said during an address from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.
It was the “most hawkish view of Pakistan that we’ve seen in some time,” Seth Jones, a political scientist at the RAND Corporation specializing in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, told PBS NewsHour at the time, adding that Trump’s language indicated just “how tired and angry a number of senior American intelligence, military and diplomatic officials are this far into the 16-year war in Afghanistan — and that the Taliban continues to have a safe haven in Pakistan soil.”
Haley added on Tuesday that “the president is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbor and support terrorism.”