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The Wall Street Journal: U.S. to suspend at least $1.3 billion in security aid to Pakistan

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Thursday it would freeze all security assistance to Pakistan until the country acts against terror networks on its territory, a move that reflects new tensions and could lead to problems in supplying U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has played a double game for years,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said this week as she announced the U.S. would continue to withhold $255 million in already budgeted military aid. She said while working with the U.S., the country is also harboring terrorist groups that target American troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. originally suspended that payment in August.

The Trump administration went further on Thursday, vowing to freeze more than $1 billion in other forms of security assistance, bringing the total of security funds held back to at least $1.3 billion, U.S. officials said. The freeze doesn’t affect more than $220 million in economic support and health-related funding, and the U.S. can make exceptions to the freeze on a case-by-case basis.

U.S. officials said the suspension of funds was motivated in part by frustration that Pakistan wouldn’t grant Washington access to a member of the Haqqani network captured by Pakistani forces late last year when they freed a Canadian-American family held hostage by militants, and was also denying the U.S. access to other people of interest.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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