Country says United States military aid suspension 'counterproductive'

Country says United States military aid suspension 'counterproductive'

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.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert was unable to put a dollar sum on the funds that will be frozen, but said it was in addition to the $255 million in military aid it has already put on hold.

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, which have long used sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan that have killed U.S., Afghan and other forces.

"Pakistan could be within their rights if they tell us you don't have flyover rights anymore", she said.

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

Some analysts have said there is no real way to pressure Pakistan, which believes keeping Kabul out of nemesis India's orbit is more important than clamping down on cross-border militancy.

Trump's frustrations are shared by some USA lawmakers, who accused Pakistan of playing a double game by allowing militant groups sanctuary - which Islamabad denies - despite promising to crack down on them. The US was one of the first nations to establish a bilateral relationship with Pakistan and the two remained close allies during the cold war, forming an integral part of anti-Soviet alliances such as CENTO and SEATO. That $255 million is included in the suspended aid announced Thursday by Nauert. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told a Pakistani news channel on Wednesday that Pakistan would continue to cooperate with the USA but would not "compromise on national interests and prestige". However, details over where the money goes isn't clear, and Pakistan official reaction has downplayed the significance of the funds. 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".

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

In August, he was more forthright and warned that Pakistan "has much to lose" if ig persisted in aiding terrorists.

"A balanced response is needed that would preserve the country's dignity while engaging with the U.S.", Sadiq said.

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.

"We have got to see movement on this reduction of sanctuary and support for those insurgents and terrorists operating from Pakistan who are attacking our forces and our coalition diplomats and forces, as well as the Afghans, inside this country", Nicholson told reporters in November.

Pakistan says much of the money it received from the USA came as reimbursement in coalition support for services the country provided in the war on terror.

In contrast to recent visits by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who spoke of "engagement and trust-building during their visits here. now President Trump and Vice President Pence are talking of threats, insults and 'putting Pakistan on notice, '" Dastagir said.

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