USA suspends security aid to Pakistan over militant groups

USA suspends security aid to Pakistan over militant groups

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".

Just a few days ago, the Donald Trump administration withheld $255 million military aid to Pakistan and said that things would stay that way until the country took action against the jihadists, militants and local terror outfits on its soil.

It must be noted that Trump's tweet is in the context of Pakistan-based terrorist groups like the Haqqani network and Taliban that threaten USA forces and the civilian government in Afghanistan.

She said that Pakistan has always "played a vital role in the war on terror".

The widely reported data collected from us and Pakistan government agencies suggest a huge chunk, around $14.5 billion, has gone to the Pakistani military for covering its claimed costs of anti-terror operations. And now Pakistan is clearly bearing the brunt of this ignorance.

Trump's frustrations are shared by some US lawmakers, who accused Pakistan of playing a double game by allowing militant groups sanctuary - which Islamabad denies - despite promising to crack down on them.

In the post-9/11 period, Pakistan emerged as one of the biggest recipients of USA aid because of its role as a regional ally in the American-led military intervention in Afghanistan. I was asked for comments by IndiaTimesNow but got thoroughly disappointed by my curt reply that, 'Pakistan is quite used to ups and downs in its relationship with United States of America, but mercifully it has got out of the U.S. magic spell, and it no more yearns for US aid, and that it is now India's turn, which is in the tight embrace of USA, to face the music. However, the figure is expected to be as much as $1.3 billion. "Pakistan's cooperation is not based on any consideration of aid but on our national interests and principles", Maleeha Lodh, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, said in response to Haley's comments.

Nauert said that Pakistan's failure to take action against Lakshar-e-Taiba leader Hafeez Saeed was not a factor in the action.




However, Heather Nauert maintained that the suspension was imposed on temporary basis as the United States wants Pakistan to fulfill its obligations and initiate a decisive action against all terrorist groups including Haqqani Network.

"The Trump administration decision has abundantly vindicated India's stand as far as terror is concerned and as far as the role of Pakistan is concerned in perpetrating terrorism", according to minister of state in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh, NDTV reported on January 2, 2018.

The military aid, known as foreign military financing, "promotes the development of Pakistan's long-term [counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism] capabilities and improves Pakistan's ability to participate in maritime security operations and counter-maritime piracy", according to the State Department.

According to a senior State Department official, no decision has been taken on the fate of Dollars 255 million security assistance to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017.

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

On Thursday, the US State Department also tweeted that it has placed deeply conservative Muslim Pakistan on a special watch list for severe violations of religious freedom.

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.

The US and others have long complained that Pakistan offered safe haven to the Afghan Taliban and their allies, the Haqqani Network, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

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