The U.S. military said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.
The US government cancelled $300m in military aid to Pakistan ahead of a trip to the region by Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, who is expected to deepen military engagement with India, Pakistan’s arch-rival. Mr Pompeo is expected to meet Imran Khan, the new Pakistani prime minister, this week in Islamabad on his way to a summit in India. Pakistani officials said the timing of the weekend announcement had set the tone for a difficult meeting.
“[The US] are signalling to Pakistan: ‘Be prepared for some tough talk by Mike Pompeo’,” one senior government official in Islamabad said. President Donald Trump has taken a hard line against Pakistan, accusing it of playing a double game by sheltering some of the militants who pose a threat to Afghan and US national security. Mr Trump angered senior Pakistani ranks with a New Year’s Day tweet in which he accused Islamabad of giving the US “nothing but lies & deceit” and taking the US “as fools”.