WASHINGTON, Jan 03 (SABAH): A day after Washington confirmed suspending $255 million of military aid to Pakistan, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the actions being taken against Islamabad are a follow-up to Donald Trump’s South Asia policy announced last year.
“The president outlined a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia past year in August. At that time, he laid out [a policy] and said that Pakistan is not fulfilling its obligations,” said Sanders during the White House press briefing.
“The President is simply following through on a commitment that he made […] we know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism, and we want them to step up and do that.”
“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations,” Trump had said in August last year, warning at the time that vital aid could be cut.
The press secretary was pressed about the timing of Trump’s tweet about Pakistan more than once during the briefing. When asked if there was any particular incident that prompted Monday’s tweet, Sanders said: “This is something that the president has been following and has talked about back during August, when he laid out his Afghanistan and South Asia strategy. And this is something that the administration continues to watch on a daily basis — and I can’t go into any further detail beyond that.”
Sanders told the press that further action against Pakistan — and other countries that did not vote with the United States on Jerusalem at the United Nations — would be announced in the next 24-48 hours.