Trump Backs Proposal to Spend Pakistan Aid Money on US Infrastructure Projects
09 January, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Edward Snyder
There has been no official statement about the meeting, neither has there been any response from the Indian government on the USA announcement about suspension of military assistance to Pakistan.
Pakistan on Friday said it is engaged with America on the issue of security cooperation and was awaiting further details of the announcement by the U.S. on suspension of over $1 billion military aid to Islamabad for failing to clamp down on terror groups.
Pakistan has rejected USA allegations of not taking action against all terrorists and also rubbished Washington's claim of providing 33 billion dollars to Pakistan in the last fifteen years in security assistance. The council will now hold multiparty conferences in Faisalabad on January 12 and in Lahore on January 13 against the USA threats to Pakistan. It's unclear exactly how much money is being suspended total. They need Pakistan. Supply lines to Afghanistan pass through Pakistan. There are 20,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Some regional analysts question whether the Trump administration has a plan for how to move forward, or if the decision to cut funding was a reaction to recent comments from Pakistan's foreign minister, who accused Trump on Wednesday of lying about how much aid the USA gives Pakistan.
"Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years", said the statement. This is a fact which has impelled Washington to try to come to an understanding with the Afghan Taliban, if necessary by accommodating them in the Government. "This kind of running your foreign policy through the media can not achieve much, and is going to alienate more and more allies", he suggested.
"Obviously, we'll continue talking with one another as we are at all times", Mattis said.
"The president has shown that he is willing to speak with clarity when he talks about Pakistan and our relationship", the official said.
Though there was no immediate reaction from Islamabad to the U.S. move, defence minister Khurram Dastagir said on Thursday that, "we need to have a holistic review of the entire situation. They are saying that they are not very dependent on the United States".
"That is the way it has been portrayed, but I think there will be some effect, [even if] not much".
Currently, the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation depend on Pakistan for logistical support for their operations in Afghanistan, a key part of fighting terrorism.
Nauert, in her media briefing in Washington, also noted, "No country has suffered more from terrorism than Pakistan".
South Asia expert Christine Fair of Georgetown University voiced concern that Pakistan might retaliate for the suspension by closing the highways from the port city of Karachi on which equipment is trucked to land-locked Afghanistan and the airspace through which supplies are flown to US -led global forces there.
Asked whether there was any truth in Washington's claims that Islamabad hasn't done enough to fight terror, Yusufzai said that the dispute is really about Pakistan's lack of urgency in fighting the militants, not their lack of assistance as such. Out of this, $400 million was eligible for Haqqani Network-related certification requirements that can not be waived by the administration. During high tension six years ago, Pakistan closed overland routes into Afghanistan for several months.
But, the official said, it was "difficult but not impossible" to find other ways to get equipment in, and the USA was also anxious about its credibility if it continues to fund a country harboring America's enemies.
Furthermore, one of the explanations Islamabad has been able to fall back on is the 2.7 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan for almost four decades now, and among whom terror groups such as al-Qaeda and Haqqani can easily hide and operate.
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