United States to Withhold All Security Assistance to Pakistan

Pakistani demonstrators protest US aid cuts in Lahore

Pakistani demonstrators protest US aid cuts in Lahore

He said the polices followed by the successive United States administrations post 9/11 with regard to Pakistan have not worked at all. The International Monetary Fund should be encouraged to tie aid to economic and (especially) tax reforms; not until more Pakistani citizens pay taxes will they really question how much of the national budget is commandeered by the military. The official further said, "Hope that Pakistan would take actions that the United States was seeking as it will allow the relationship to return to a more positive trajectory". It asserted that Islamabad has fought the anti-terrorism war "largely" from its own financial resources. "We are conducting a complete analysis and coolly formulating our response", he said, adding that there should not be any doubts when it comes to the defence of Pakistan. "The ones without them did not fare so well", he said.

Tense ties between the uneasy allies nosedived on January 1 when U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter against Islamabad's "lies and deceit" despite $33 billion in aid and the White House warned of "specific actions" to pressure Pakistan.

A leading opposition politician, Imran Khan, on Friday demanded the government categorically refuse to accept any future US assistance in the wake of Trump's remarks. "So, who is responsible for this?" Pakistan was unlikely to get that component as it has failed to get the certification since 2015.

Despite the tough talk, some USA officials are hopeful Washington and Islamabad can resolve their differences. Initially vague information on how much money and material was being withheld suggested the primary goal was to substantiate President Trump's surprising New Year's Day tweet that accused Pakistan of playing U.S. leaders for "fools".

US Defence Secretary James Mattis on Friday said that the Pentagon was maintaining its communication with the Pakistani military establishment, including with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, even after suspending its security assistance to Pakistan.

Senior U.S. officials also said some of the suspended funding could be made available on a case-by-case basis in order to protect U.S. national security interests. In some places, the protesters set fire to portraits of President Donald Trump, but there were no reports of violence.

Man dies after picking up explosive device outside Stockholm metro station
Police told news agency TT that the killed man, who was in his 60s, and the injured woman, who is in her 40s, were a couple. They added that there were no indications that the incident was related to terror.

Pakistan's reluctance to undertake counterterrorism operations, specifically in the Waziristan region, has been a major irritant in relations with the USA, which sees the area as a training ground for Taliban and Haqqani militants.

China could once again be the beneficiary of a Trump decision whose signature tune is estrangement with and from long-time partners. The United States has repeatedly pressed the Pakistanis to do something about Taliban and Haqqani network militants operating inside Pakistan who launch attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan, officials said. The Foreign Ministry said the designation is not based on "objective criteria".

"They may say it's 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. We also must simultaneously remain engaged with the US, Europe, Iran, Afghanistan and other stakeholders in the effort to secure stabilisation. "I also agree on some confidentiality there", he said.

If the overland routes are closed, the USA would need to haul supplies in by cargo plane, a much more costly method.

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. The only way to force real change is to make it too painful for the military to continue on its present course, while presenting Pakistan's citizens and civilian leaders with a better alternative. "There's a good chance that if the screws start to tighten on Pakistan, then Pakistan may be compelled to take some modest measures to appease the U.S.in the short term". He went on to say that Islamabad will have to review its ties to Washington and to strengthen relations with key regional patterns, including China, Iran and Russian Federation.

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