DAVID GREENE, HOST:
All right, the relationship between Washington and Islamabad has already been pretty tense, and now this. The Pentagon says it is going to suspend $300 million in aid to Pakistan. The Pentagon says Islamabad is just not doing enough against terrorists. Here's NPR's Emily Sullivan.
EMILY SULLIVAN, BYLINE: The suspension is part of a broader one announced by President Trump in January of this year. The Coalition Support Fund will be hit with those cuts. Its funds are used to reimburse Coalition partners for logistical and military support of U.S. military operations, like the war on terror. It was created in October 2001 following the war in Afghanistan. Civic aid to the country isn't affected. A spokesperson for the U.S. Army told NPR the cut was due to a lack of Pakistani support of the South Asia strategy by harboring militants. The strategy announced by Trump last August aims to stop a resurgence of terror in peaceful areas.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.
SULLIVAN: Pakistan, which serves as a key route for transporting supplies to U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has repeatedly denied protecting terrorists. Spokesperson Kone Faulkner says the funds will be redirected to other urgent priorities before they were set to expire on September 30. The announcement comes at an interesting time. Pakistan's newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan took office just weeks ago. He inherited a struggling economy and is expected to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. Days from now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford will head to Islamabad to meet with Khan. The DOD is awaiting congressional confirmation of the reprogrammed $300 million. They'll receive that response before September 30 when those funds expire. Emily Sullivan, NPR News, Washington.
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