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United States suspends all military assistance to Pakistan

United States suspends all military assistance to Pakistan

Many members of the U.S. Congress, particularly Republicans, who control both houses of the legislature, have been critical of the Pakistani government and called for cuts in military and other aid. Pakistan has developed a close relationship with China, for example, which is investing $62 billion in infrastructure projects in the country. Soon after the president's tweet, the White House had confirmed that the United States had suspended its Dollars 255 million military aid to Pakistan. But cutting funding to Pakistan will do little to advance US interests in the region, analysts note.

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

But Pakistan quickly became an important military asset. Pressure from the U.S., including aid cuts, won't change that equation.

It said that Pakistan believed that its cooperation with U.S. in fighting terrorism directly served USA national security interests as well as the larger interests of the worldwide community.

However, the USA war with Afghanistan created some complicated politics for Pakistan.

The Bush and Obama administrations expressed frustration with Pakistan, suggesting that the country had not done enough to help eradicate terrorism.

The US President wrote that US foolishly gave over 33 billion dollars in aid to Pakistan over the past 15 years. From $2.60 billion in 2013 to $1.60 billion in 2015, the request for aid appropriations and military reimbursements in 2018 fell to just $350 million. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately".

It was clear that the USA state department had not even decided on the exact quantum of aid that would be cut before it went public.

Is the Trump administration right? In an article published on the website of Gatestone Institute, an global policy council and think tank in New York, Islamabad-based journalist Kaswar Klasra has said that ISIS will continue to carry out attacks, itself or through other outfits such as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and the Taliban, unless Pakistan takes them to task, reported ANI. Out of this, $400 million was eligible for Haqqani Network-related certification requirements that can not be waived by the administration.

In the rocky relationship shared by the USA and Pakistan, the former had continuously accused the latter of harbouring terrorists responsible for killing American soldiers in neighbouring Afghanistan. Tillerson gave directions at the time of its expiry to keep $255 million separately and "withhold placing any of those funds on actual contacts".

But Pakistani officials argue that they're doing all they can to stamp out the terrorists who shelter in their borders.

Asked to comment on the U.S. announcement suspending hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of security assistance to Pakistan, Afghan political and security expert Rahimullah Yusufzai said that the decision was not unexpected, and does not mean that the USA will cut off aid completely. Opposition politician Imran Khan went one step further, calling on Pakistan to "immediately remove" US diplomatic and intelligence personnel.

When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Pakistan of "harbor [ing] the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan", a Pakistani military spokesman noted that Haley is of Indian origin and that the "current misunderstanding between Pakistan and the U.S.is created by India".


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