Haley: US withholding $255M in aid from Pakistan

The United States is withholding $255 million in aid from Pakistan over what the Trump administration describes as a failure to sufficiently fight terrorism, U.S. Ambassador the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump administration withholds million from UN agency for Palestinians Trump’s first year in office was the year of the woman Palestinian president blasts Trump in defiant speech MORE confirmed Tuesday.

“The administration is withholding $255 million in assistance to Pakistan,” Haley said at a press conference. “There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years. They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. That game is not acceptable to this administration.”

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The withholding of the aid has been expected, particularly after Trump blasted Pakistan in a Monday tweet.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump tweeted.

Haley warned that Trump could stop all funding to Pakistan.

“We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism,” she said. “The president is willing to go to great lengths to stop all funding from Pakistan as they continue to harbor and support terrorism.”

In August, President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE called on Pakistan to do to more to fight terrorism when he announced his new strategy for the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan. But at the time, he provided no details as to how the U.S. would pressure Islamabad.

The U.S. relationship with Pakistan has ebbed and flowed over the course of the war in Afghanistan, getting most tense after U.S. special forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.

Pakistan denies that it provides safe haven to terrorists, often pointing to the operation launched in 2014 to clear groups such as the Haqqani network from the Waziristan border region with Afghanistan.

In response to Trump’s Monday tweet, the Pakistani defense ministry said it has helped the United States fight terrorism, but that it has gotten nothing but “invective and mistrust” in return.