Relations between the United States and Pakistan have taken quite a hit in the last few months after Islamabad has brazenly been ignoring the US' demands that the country raises its efforts to eliminate terror outfits from its soil. Hinting at the souring relations between the two nations, the Trump administration is reportedly giving a serious thought to the military aid it provides to Pakistan.
The US may not provide the $255 million military aid to Pakistan, reported the New York Times, until the country takes action against the jihadists, militants and local terror outfits on its soil.
And now, Pakistan may have to bear the brunt of ignoring US' and Trump's demands. Speaking of the aid and how the US may withhold the amount, a spokesperson of the President's National Security Council told Hindustan Times that Pakistan needs to act on countering terrorism if it expects the military aid from the US.
"The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time," the spokesperson told HT.
"The President has made clear that the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan's actions in support of the South Asia Strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance. The Administration continues to review Pakistan's level of cooperation."
The $255 million is the amount remaining from the $1.1 billion aid that Pakistan is supposed to receive. While the amount was cleared for transfer in August, the US has been irked with the country since October, when Pakistan had freed a Canadian-American family captured by militants. In the process, the forces had also captured one of the militants, who is a Haqqani Network operative.
The US had then asked Pakistan to hand over the operative to the US, but the former had blatantly refused to oblige, clearly rubbing the US the wrong way. The operative is important to the country as the Haqqani Network is known to have caused a large number of casualties on the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump has been insisting that Pakistan clean up its act for a while now and had earlier also threatened to penalise the nation for not taking the necessary steps when it comes to fighting terror. "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," Trump had said. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately."
It has now also come to light that terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been outsourcing terror attacks to outfits in Pakistan to carry out attacks in the country.
In an article published on the website of Gatestone Institute, an international policy council and think tank in New York, Islamabad-based journalist Kaswar Klasra has said that ISIS will continue to carry out attacks, itself or through other outfits such as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and the Taliban, unless Pakistan takes them to task, reported ANI.
Klasra also said that Pakistan needs to increase its efforts to thwart these attacks in the country or the conflict will continue.