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State Department: We're Suspending Security Assistance to Pakistan
05 January 2018, 01:43 | Myrtle Vega
The writer is a development anthropologist. He teaches at George Washington University
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".
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.
For the year 2018, as per U.S. government's foreign assistance website, about $344 million of USA aid has been stipulated for Pakistan.
During a press briefing on Thursday, State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauertconfirmed that the USA is suspending security assistance to Pakistan until takes "decisive action" against groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
"The United States has foolishly given Pakistanmore than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools".
According to Reuters report, United States 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. The impact isn't clear because few details have been released on how the Pakistani military has been using the funds.
"They may say its a surprise, but what is no surprise is that the President has expressed his concerns, Secretary Tillerson has expressed his concerns, as has Secretary Mattis, and I imagine many other government officials having those conversations with Pakistan", Nauert said.
But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups that attack Afghanistan from safe havens along the border between the two countries.
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But Pakistan entirely rejected Trump's accusations, and termed them unwarranted and detrimental to Pak-US relations. Earlier this year Washington suspended $255 million in FMF. The New York Times has quoted Trump administration officials as saying "around $1.3 billion could be frozen".
"No amount of coercion can dictate us how to continue". Pressure from the US also resulted in a buildup of Pakistani military presence along the border with Afghanistan.
Since then, US economic aid to Pakistan has totaled around $33.4 billion since 2002.
Briefing reporters, US officials stressed the suspension did not affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could go through if Islamabad took decisive action against the groups.
The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday.
Prof. Lin believes if the USA 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.
Trump, Secretary Defence Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence have rejected Pakistan's explanations and hurled threats of aid cut, sanctions and losing territory if it fails to abide by the USA dictates.
"Our hope is that they will see this as a further indication of this administration's enormous frustration with the trajectory of our relationship and that they need to be serious about taking the steps we have asked in order to put it on more solid footing", a senior State Department official told reporters.
"A balanced response is needed that would preserve the country's dignity while engaging with the U.S.", Sadiq said.
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