U.S. aid suspension to Pakistan would end when “decisive and sustained” actions are taken against militant groups operating in its territory, said a State Department official on Sunday, adding that U.S. is yet to see any evidence of such steps.
“U.S. has seen no evidence that Pakistan has met Trump administration demands for a crackdown on extremist groups based on Pakistani territory,” Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“We may consider lifting the suspension when we see decisive and sustained actions to address our concerns, including targeting all terrorist groups operating within its territory, without distinction,” the No. 2 official from the State Department added.
The U.S. has suspended its security aid, later estimated at up to about $2 billion according to some reports, to Pakistan in early January, accusing it of not doing enough to rein in the militant groups, particularly Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.
The move followed a surprise tweet from President Donald Trump on New Year’s Day, saying that U.S, had “foolishly” given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid and “they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Pakistan, which is a crucial gateway for U.S. military supplies to Afghanistan, denied the charges and its National Security Committee termed the suspension as “completely incomprehensible.”
Later in January, U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on six men, two Pakistanis and four Afghans living in Pakistan, for their ties with Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.
With inputs from agencies.