Pakistan Says Alliance With US Is Over

Pakistan Says Alliance With US Is Over

Pakistan Says Alliance With US Is Over

According to the State Department, the U.S. made the funding decision over concerns that Islamabad is providing a safe haven for the al-Qaeda and Taliban-allied Haqqani terrorist network, a former CIA-funded anti-Soviet guerrilla group which has engaged in plotting attacks on USA troops in neighboring Afghanistan in recent years. Though rarely mentioned, the USA flies men and materiel through Pakistani airspace and trucks up considerable volumes of supplies and equipment from Karachi port to Afghanistan.

The Trump administration is considering a range of other punishments, too, including sanctions, increased drone strikes and a withdrawal of support for Pakistan at global financial institutions such as the World Bank, my colleagues reported.

Pakistan and America have continued the war of words in the last 24 hours, with the Americans now formally announcing that $900 million in security assistance will be suspended until they see the "do more" mantra actioned.

On New Year's Day, President Donald Trump had noted on Twitter that the USA had "foolishly" given Pakistan over $33 billion in aid over the past 15 years, adding that Islamabad gives "safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".

Nauert, in her media briefing in Washington, also noted, "No country has suffered more from terrorism than Pakistan".

Frustration has been building on Capitol Hill for years, reflected in a steady decline of US aid to Pakistan. "Pakistan has played a double game for years".

In efforts to persuade Islamabad to abandon this nefarious "double game", the USA government has deployed a constant stream of diplomatic and economic carrots-including $33 billion in aid and "reimbursements" since 2002-but virtually no sticks.

The message in US President Trump's tweet depicts either a failure or regret of the steps taken by his predecessors, especially by Barack Obama.

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Currently, the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation depend on Pakistan for logistical support for their operations in Afghanistan, a key part of fighting terrorism.

Unfortunately, Pakistan's all-powerful military appears unable to escape a prison of perpetual denial. Just how much aid is to be suspended is not known precisely but it would all be military and no civilian aid is to be curtailed.

The Trump administration is rightly signaling to Islamabad that "business as usual" has come to an end. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately". Can Pakistan survive the aid cut or will it give up its loyalties towards the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network? Tillerson gave directions at the time of its expiry to keep $255 million separately and "withhold placing any of those funds on actual contacts".

"People have long asked, why don't you do more about Pakistan, and I think this sort of answers that question", she said.

"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more 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".

'There are considerable risks for the US because Pakistan could retaliate in ways that would be very problematic for USA regional interests, ' he said, such as curtailing intelligence cooperation and USA supply lines into Afghanistan.

There has been no official statement about the meeting, neither has there been any response from the Indian government on the United States announcement about suspension of military assistance to Pakistan.

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