U.S. Freezes Military Aid to Pakistan, Citing Inadequate Action on Militants

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Capitol Hill in Washington US

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Capitol Hill in Washington US

"Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 [million] was reprogrammed", Pentagon spokesperson Lt. -Col.

The aid originally earmarked for Pakistan will now be spent on "other urgent priorities", according to Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner.

The announcement over aid comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford are preparing to meet this week with Pakistan's newly elected prime minister, Imran Khan.

He said the U.S. in principle should pay back the money to Pakistan because it was spent for a common objective to defeat militancy and create peace and stability.

Pakistani President Imran Khan has called for a new, "mutually beneficial", relationship with the US that breaks with the antiterrorism partnership dating to 2001.

It also believes that a Pakistani crackdown could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the long-running war in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan had rendered huge human and financial sacrifices for peace and security in the region. Mattis chose not to, a US official told Reuters.

The Trump administration had announced a week earlier that it would withdraw $200 million in separate aid for the Palestinians.

NH officials: 2 more Legionnaires' cases reported
Every year, there are between 200 and 500 cases of Legionnaires' disease in the city, according to health officials. People who visited the area more than two weeks ago and have not developed symptoms are not at risk for disease.

The move had come just days after an angry New Year Tweet by US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving the US only "lies & deceit" in return for $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.

But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups, which attack Afghanistan from safe havens along the border between the two countries. Trump administration has intensified its pressure on Pakistan, particularly after Imran Khan has sworn in as the new Prime Minister.

Pompeo will face a particularly frosty welcome in Islamabad after recently counselling against an International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan, whose fast-depleting foreign exchange reserves threaten financial crisis, because the money might end up repaying debts owed to China.

He has also shown a willingness to hold talks with militant groups and sought support from religious hardliners in the run-up to elections last July - moves that prompted critics to christen him "Taliban Khan".

The United States has cancelled $300m (£231m) in aid to Pakistan.

Pakistan has always been accused of using the Afghan Taliban to further its foreign policy interests in the country.

Washington's footprint in Afghanistan is much smaller than it was at the height of the war, but it needs access to Pakistan's supply lines and airspace.

Both the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban have launched attacks in Afghanistan that have killed USA forces, and U.S. officials have long argued that Pakistan, and specifically its ISI intelligence service, provides safe havens to them.

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