US considering withholding $255m in aid for Pakistan over Haqqani network operative access

Detailing one of the causes of the ‘rift’ between Pakistan and US, a report in the New York Times claims that relations between the two countries soured after Pakistan refused to give access to the United States to one of the abductors of the American-Canadian couple, who were recovered earlier in October.

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According to The New York Times When Pakistani forces freed a Canadian-American family this fall held captive by militants, they also captured one of the abductors. United States officials saw a potential windfall: He was a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network who could perhaps provide valuable information about at least one other American hostage.

The Americans demanded access to the man, but Pakistani officials rejected those requests, the latest disagreement in the increasingly dysfunctional relationship between the countries. Now, the Trump administration is strongly considering whether to withhold $255 million in aid that it had delayed sending to Islamabad, according to American officials, as a show of dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s broader intransigence toward confronting the terrorist networks that operate there.

The administration’s internal debate over whether to deny Pakistan the money is a test of whether President Trump will deliver on his threat to punish Islamabad for failing to cooperate on counterterrorism operations. Relations between the United States and Pakistan, long vital for both, have chilled steadily since the president declared over the summer that Pakistan “gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror.”

Source: The NewYork Times

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