U.S. to Withhold All Security Assistance to Pakistan

05 January, 2018, 13:42 | Author: Phil Peters
  • Donald Trump

The freeze will be enforced "until the Pakistani Government takes decisive action against groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network", she said.

The cutoff is not permanent, Nauert said, and only affects military assistance. "I think there was a line item which showed these transfers from the USA and it was similar to show the budget from "other" sources", said Dr. Salman Shah, a former finance minister of Pakistan. They said they could make exceptions to fund critical USA national security priorities.

"We are still working through some of those dollar numbers right now".

While the official Chinese media said Mr. Trump piling pressure on Pakistan may push it closer to Beijing, analysts here point to already existing close ties between the two countries.

Trump has accused Islamabad of providing a safe haven for terrorists.

On Wednesday night, Ghafoor told local Geo TV that Pakistan wants to continue cooperation with the USA but will not "compromise on national interests and prestige".

But Pakistan entirely rejected Trump's accusations, and termed them unwarranted and detrimental to Pak-US relations.

"The timing and nature of the Trump administration's decision are worrisome".

Pakistan is anxious about the influence of old rival India in Afghanistan, and at the same time has been battling a Pakistani Taliban insurgency that Pakistan says was largely fueled by its support for the US war on terrorism launched after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately".

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The $255 million now being withheld is annual military aid that the United States still provides directly to Pakistan in return for fighting terrorism. Earlier this year Washington suspended $255 million in FMF. But it could end up backfiring by diminishing the cooperation between the USA and Pakistan to combat terror groups in the region. In the 1990s, Washington imposed aid-cutting sanctions related to Pakistan's nuclear program and a military coup that deposed an elected prime minister.

Washington accuses Pakistan of playing a unsafe double game, taking billions in U.S. aid while supporting militants attacking its forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban. Overall, Pakistan received almost $8 billion security aid in the form of arms transfers from the USA, including F-16 fighter jets, AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters and P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, according to this CRS report on May 4, 2015.

The U.S. State Department announced the decision, saying it reflected the Trump administration's frustration that Pakistan has not done more against the two groups, which have long used sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan that have killed U.S., Afghan and other forces.

Pakistan, which serves as a key transport route for supplies to USA forces in Afghanistan, denies harboring terrorists.

"A balanced response is needed that would preserve the country's dignity while engaging with the U.S.", Sadiq said.

The US aid to Pakistan in 2012 dropped by as much as $521 million to $1.82 billion.

"We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated".

"You carried out 57,800 attacks on Afghanistan from our bases, your forces were supplied arms and explosives through our soil, thousands of our civilians and soldiers became victims of the war initiated by you", Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted in Urdu on Wednesday morning.

Trump, Secretary Defence Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence have rejected Pakistan's explanations and hurled threats of aid cut, sanctions and losing territory if it fails to abide by the USA dictates. Conditions for the country's religious minorities, including Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis, are widely considered poor.

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