US Suspends Most Security Assistance To Pakistan

05 January, 2018, 13:45 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • US is losing it Pakistan

Referring to Trumps new strategy, Nauert said despite a sustained high-level engagement by Trump administration with the government of Pakistan, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilise Afghanistan and also attack the United States and allied personnel.

Thursday's announcement was in addition to the $255 million in foreign military assistance that the Trump administration in August said it was withholding, she said.

In his first tweet of the New Year, Trump said that the USA had given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over 15 years and accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists while making fools of United States leaders with lies and deceit.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the security spending would be suspended until Pakistan takes "decisive action" against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.

The decision to cut funding comes just several days after President Donald Trump tweeted his disappointment with Pakistan, claiming that the US got nothing but "lies and deceit" for the $33 billion in aid the USA gave Pakistan between 2002 and 2018.

Having an Afghan neighbor as an ally in the global war on terrorism was key to the US ousting the terror groups that had set up training camps in Afghanistan, and Pakistan quickly became the third-largest recipient of United States military and economic support. It is time for the USA to accept its fault lines and fight its own war, or else accept its defeat gracefully, patch up with the Taliban and find a political solution instead of scapegoating Pakistan, and beat a hasty retreat from the quagmire it has got stuck.

Since 2002, Pakistan has received over $13 billion in Coalition Support Funds (CSF) from the US.

According to local media, more than 3,450 people have been killed in 417 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004.

The rare reaction follows recent statements from top USA officials, including President Donald Trump, accusing Islamabad of "playing a double-game" and providing safe havens to militants fighting in war-torn Afghanistan.

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But Pakistan entirely rejected Trump's accusations, and termed them unwarranted and detrimental to Pak-US relations. The New York Times has quoted Trump administration officials as saying "around $1.3 billion could be frozen".

"We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting global terrorism and carried out the largest counterterrorism operation anywhere in the world", Pakistan's U.N. Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said Wednesday.

The United States has been threatening for months to cut aid to Islamabad over its failure to crack down on groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, which it says operates from bases in Pakistan's northwest. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told a Pakistani news channel on Wednesday that Pakistan would continue to cooperate with the USA but would not "compromise on national interests and prestige".

There were several indications that the suspension of aid to Pakistan was in the works.

The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday.

"It's north of $255 million", said one USA official.

Earlier on Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson placed Pakistan on a "Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom".

Prof. Lin believes if the US and its allies push their Indo- Pacific strategy to the extreme, China will surely carry out a plan with Pakistan to ensure the security of sea routes.

The US and others have long complained that Pakistan offered safe haven to the Afghan Taliban and their allies, the Haqqani Network, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

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