The US, accusing Pakistan of playing a ‘double game’ on fighting terrorism, has said it will unveil actions this week designed to force Pakistan to crack down on terrorism on its soil, escalating a war of words that has brought their uneasy alliance to a crisis point.
“They can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters, warning Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain US aid.
The White House said it would likely announce actions to pressure Pakistan within days, shortly after US Ambassador Nikki Haley said at the United Nations that Washington would withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan.
“In terms of specific actions, I think you’ll see some more details come out on that in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Sanders said, adding, “We know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism, and we want them to step up and do that.”
US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accused Islamabad of playing a ‘double game’ by claiming to support the US-led war against terrorism while providing a haven to terrorist groups.
“They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan,” Haley said.
“That game is not acceptable to this administration. We expect far more co-operation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.”
The comments followed an angry tweet from President Donald Trump on Monday that the United States had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit” for ‘foolishly’ giving Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the past 15 years.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he tweeted.
Pakistan civilian and military leadership on Tuesday rejected ‘incomprehensible’ US comments and summoned American Ambassador David Hale to explain Trump’s tweet.