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undergroundnewsroom.com April 21, 2018


United States suspends security aid to Pakistan over militant groups

05 January 2018, 01:43 | Damon Campbell

The FO also said that working towards enduring peace requires mutual respect and trust along with patience and persistence

Pakistan US US-Pakistan United states pakistan foreign office terrorism Pakistan terrorism Donald trump world news Indian express news

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 USA and allied personnel.

Nauert made clear the $255 million was still blocked, and the Pentagon said the new action targets payments of so-called Coalition Support Funds that the USA pays to Pakistan to reimburse it for its counterterrorism operations.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the restrictions covered security assistance above and beyond the $255m (£188m) for Pakistani purchases of USA military equipment that the Trump administration held up back in August.

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 dramatic freeze in deliveries of military equipment and security funding comes after US President Donald Trump lambasted Pakistan for its alleged support for militant safe havens, including in a furious new year tweet.

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 that Washington says use sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan that have killed U.S., Afghan and other forces.

US officials said two main categories of aid are affected: foreign military financing (FMF), which funds purchases of USA military hardware, training and services, and coalition support funds (CSF), which reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations.

At the same time, Nauert made it clear that the USA action has nothing to do with Pakistan not taking action against the Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.

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

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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.

The rhetoric has raised hackles in Islamabad and fears the row could undermine Pakistan's support for United States operations in Afghanistan. Speaking of US-Pakistan relations, Nauert added: "No partnership can survive a country's harboring of militants and terrorists who target USA service members and officials".

Reacting to the Trump administrations move, Pakistan said, "We are engaged with the US Administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details". The $33 billion Trump referred to represents all US military and economic aid to Pakistan since 2002. That $255 million is included in the suspended aid announced Thursday by Nauert.

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".

The latest USA defense budget signed by Trump in December allocates $700 million in conditional aid to reimburse Pakistan for supporting US military operations in Afghanistan, but the aid is facing more scrutiny.

But he said it could be a backup plan in response to the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US and its allies.

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

"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.

Pakistan said the message was "completely incomprehensible" and at odds with the recent "trust-building" visits by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis.



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