Washington: The US State Department has said that Pakistan needs to earn the money it gets from Washington while the White House warned that President Donald Trump can follow through his pledge to stop US assistance to Pakistan if it does not change its Afghan policy.
The two statements were part of the regular news briefings at the White House and the State Department on Tuesday where reporters appeared perturbed about the timing of the tweet Mr Trump sent out at 4am on Monday, threatening Pakistan with dire consequences of its alleged support to the militants.
At the State Department, Spokesperson Heather Nauert seemed aware of the unpopularity of the “do more” phrase and avoided it, at least once. “I don’t want to say that Pakistan can do more, but Pakistan knows what it needs to do,” she said.
But Ms Nauert minced no words when asked why President Trump was threatening to stop US economic and military assistance to Pakistan.
“They need to better earn, essentially, the money that we have provided in the past in foreign military assistance, they need to show that they are sincere in their efforts to crack down on terrorists,” she said.
At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders reminded Pakistan that President Trump “does what he says” and he will follow through the commitment he made.
Both statements emphasised the point that there’s no immediate reason behind the tweet that seems to have stirred a wave of anti-American sentiments across Pakistan. Mr Trump was only re-emphasising his frustration with Pakistan’s Afghan policy.
“The president is simply following through on a commitment that he made, because this is a president that does what he says he’s going to do,” said Sanders when asked what precipitated President Trump’s tweet about threatening to withhold future US aid to Pakistan.
“We know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism, and we want them to step up and do that,” she added, negating the State Department’s effort to avoid using an unpopular phrase. (DawnNews)