USA could freeze up to $2 billion in aid to Pakistan

US cuts security assistance to Pakistan, demands 'decisive action' against terrorists (video)
US suspends all military assistance to Pakistan
Author

08 January, 2018

The officer also hinted on the lift of the suspension if Pakistan complies and takes strict action against the militant terrorists.

In addition, Islamabad had also grown suspicious of the close ties being developed between the USA and India, especially over India's growing role in the Afghanistan peace process. Not that past US Presidents were, in Trump's description, "foolish". "So we just disagree with that", said the official who was responding to a question to a statement made by Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawja Asif who had alleged that the USA is "trumpeting India's lies and deceit" and is speaking the "language of Indians". "Prior year funding for equipment that have not yet been delivered would be suspended". It includes the Dollars 255 million in FMF (foreign military funding) that was notified to Congress in August of a year ago.

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

"That is what approximately USD2 billion worth of equipment and the Coalition support funding that that is in play", the official said. "I don't think they will fully cut off the assistance, because they still want to work with Pakistan". At that time, Indian officials had been heartened by Trump's tough words on Pakistan, but had been waiting to see the follow-up.

"There will be exceptions made".

In the rocky relationship shared by the United States and Pakistan, the former had continuously accused the latter of harbouring terrorists responsible for killing American soldiers in neighbouring Afghanistan. "I don't want to get into specific because the implementation is still being worked out but there certainly will be exceptions made when the items are deemed to be in the U.S. national security interests", the official said.

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Pakistan has become an unreliable ally.

"So they know exactly what it is that we've asked of them, and the evaluation to date has been that they have done - they have not taken decisive action on our requests".

There seemed to be widespread support on Capitol Hill for the United States decision on cutting aid to Pakistan, with critical voices muted. We are hopeful that we will be able to cooperate in the future. Yet the Taliban and the Haqqani network, both designated terrorist organisations by America, enjoy safe havens in Pakistan.

About President Donald Trump's comprehensive South Asia strategy for regional diplomacy announced in August previous year, the official said, "It looked at India-Pakistan relations, encouraging better ties between the two countries and reducing tensions between them". "What matters I think to the Pakistanis is that it is the symbolism of doing this that it represents a deterioration of our relationship that they care about a great deal", the official said.

General Mattis said the US Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel spoke with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa a few days back.


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