USA announces suspension of security assistance to Pakistan

Georgia Reed
January 7, 2018

"They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan".

Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan echoed Asif's defiant tone during an interview on Thursday, vowing a "cold-blooded response" to Washington's stated intention to withhold $255 million in aid to Pakistan, as cited by RIA Novosti.

In an op-ed in National Interest magazine, he recommended taking a series of steps against Pakistan to end its double game including slapping sanctions against ISI and individuals who are involved in supporting insurgents and terrorists; and undertake unilateral strikes inside Pakistani territory.

In a seething series of tweets, Pakistan's foreign minister ripped into Trump's accusation that Islamabad has double-crossed the USA in Afghanistan, noting that Pakistan "went through a bloodbath" after "blindly" trusting Washington.

On Wednesday, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi offered to "review [our] cooperation [with the United States] if it is not appreciated".

Trump had tweeted on Monday that Pakistan gives safe haven to terrorists while taking $33 billion in US aid-the latest salvo in the administration's threat to cut funding to Pakistan by $255 million as it reviews Islamabad's cooperation in the fight on terror.

Trump had said Washington had "foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years", but Pakistan had in return given "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help". President Donald Trump has indicated in tweets and remarks that it could be all of it unless Pakistan took some decisive actions.

Nauert said that despite sustained high-level engagement with Pakistan's government, "the Taliban and Haqqani network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilize Afghanistan and attack USA and allied personnel".

Trump withholding $255M in aid to Pakistan, as he accuses country of giving 'safe haven' to terrorists

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's office said Islamabad will remain committed to playing a constructive role toward an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process despite "unwarranted allegations".

Pakistan civilian and military chiefs on Tuesday rejected "incomprehensible" US comments and summoned American Ambassador David Hale to explain Trump's tweet. But Trump's action, which includes a move to cancel a $255 million aid package to Pakistan, will damage its creditworthiness and deliver a major jolt to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), political observers here said.

Asif added that all financial aid from the United States had been "properly audited" and that "services [were] rendered".

The JeM and LeT carried out several attacks in India.

"[Trump's tweet] is a positive message for us, should USA pressure on Pakistan increase", Mohib added. It accused the USA of scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure to bring peace to Afghanistan.

Thousands of USA and coalition forces in Afghanistan still rely mostly on ground and air routes through neighboring Pakistan for receiving vital supplies.

However, China gave Islamabad its backing, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang saying that Pakistan "has made a prominent contribution to global antiterror efforts".

And Pakistan's Ministry of Defense also slammed Trump's Twitter broadside, highlighting the key role Pakistan has played in the US -led war on terror.

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