Pakistan refuses to hand over Haqqani network member to US

Pakistan refuses to hand over Haqqani network member to US

ISLAMABAD - US President Donald Trump’s administration is strongly considering whether to withhold $255 million USD in aid to Pakistan as it feels Islamabad is not doing enough to counter terrorism, the New York Times reported.

According to the report, senior administration officials met this month to decide what to do about the money, and American officials said a final decision could be made in the coming weeks.

The latest move comes after the US has been denied access to a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network who is in Pakistan’s custody.

According to the New York Times, the Haqqani member was one of the abductors who held an American and Canadian, along with their three children, hostage for five years.

US officials told the newspaper that the Americans demanded access to the man who they feel might have valuable information about the whereabouts of at least one other American hostage.

But Pakistani officials rejected the requests.

Trump has in the past threatened to withhold the aid to Pakistan as the US feels Islamabad is failing to cooperate on counterterrorism efforts.

A few months ago, Trump declared that Pakistan “gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror.”

The United States, has provided Pakistan with more than $33 billion USD in aid since 2002.

The report stated that US officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the sensitive discussions, did not detail what conditions Pakistan would have to meet to receive the aid.

Caitlan Coleman, an American, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were freed along with their children in an October raid after five years in captivity.

Pakistani troops confronted Haqqani militants as they ferried the family across the tribal lands of northwest Pakistan.