US says military aid to Pakistan is suspended, not cancelled
Washington: The United States on Friday expressed hoped that Pakistan would do the right thing and “turn over” the terrorists and honour its commitment to it, according to a Trump administration official.
“I have a feeling, I am hopeful that Pakistan will do the right thing and turn over the terrorists and honour their commitment,” Steven Goldstein, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs told reporters at a news conference here.
Responding to questions, Goldstein said the US has so far not heard from Pakistan on its reported decision to suspend its military and intelligence cooperation with it in retaliation of the Trump administration’s decision to freeze all its security assistance.
“We would hope that Pakistan would come to the table and that they would turn over those terrorists that we have asked be turned over. We’ve indicated very clearly that we believe that can happen,” Goldstein said.
The United States, he said, has only suspended the aid; and the money has not been reallocated.
“So now it is the job of Pakistan to take seriously their commitment to us, and most importantly to the people of Pakistan who would most be hurt by this, by any terrorist activity, and come forward.
So, our position hasn’t changed. They have not yet come forward,” Goldstein said.
At a separate news conference, the Pentagon said that Pakistan has the ability to address terrorist threat inside the country.
“We believe that Pakistan has the ability to address this threat,” Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White told reporters at a news conference.
“This is an opportunity for them to take decisive action, and we look forward to working with them to encourage them to do so,” White said in response to a question on recent development on US-Pak relations front.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a federal register notification formally designated Pakistan as a “special watch list” country for severe violations of religious freedom.
Tillerson had on January 4 placed Pakistan on a special watch list for the violations.