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Do more to curb terrorism or aid will be cut, US warns Pakistan

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The Straits Times

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD • The United States has accused Pakistan of playing a "double game" on fighting terrorism, and warned Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain US aid.

"They can do more to stop terrorism, and we want them to do that," White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.

The White House said it would likely announce actions to pressure Pakistan within days, shortly after US Ambassador Nikki Haley said at the United Nations that Washington would withhold US$255 million (S$339 million) in assistance to Pakistan.

"There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years," Ms Haley told reporters.

"They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan.

"That game is not acceptable to this administration. We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism."

The comments followed an angry tweet from President Donald Trump on Monday that the US had been rewarded with"nothing but lies and deceit" for "foolishly" giving Pakistan more than US$33 billion in aid in the past 15 years.

"They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" he tweeted.

Pakistan civilian and military chiefs on Tuesday rejected "incomprehensible" US comments, and summoned American Ambassador David Hale to explain Mr Trump's tweet.

Pakistani UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said in a statement that her country's fight against terrorism was not based on any consideration of aid, but on national interests and principles.

Read more: http://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/do-more-to-curb-terrorism-or-aid-will-be-cut-us-warns-pakistan