U.S. suspends at least $900 million in security aid to Pakistan

09 January, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif  File

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According to a report of the Congressional Research Service, FMF to Pakistan for fiscal year 2016 and 2017 was $255 million each.

Asked to comment on the USA announcement suspending hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of security assistance to Pakistan, Afghan political and security expert Rahimullah Yusufzai said that the decision was not unexpected, and does not mean that the U.S. will cut off aid completely. Trump framed his action as yet another dramatic rupture with the past; it seemed the work, yet again, of a presidency motivated by a profound desire to constantly poke its predecessors in the eye.

Pakistani The Nation media outlet reported, citing senior officials from the nation's foreign ministry, that Islamabad was discussing the move, however the decision has not been made yet, Sputnik reported.

The Trump administration announced Thursday it was suspending - not ending, as proposed by Paul, or cancelling - almost all security related assistance to Pakistan, that includes foreign military financing, USA financial assistance to recipient country to buy USA military hardware, and Coalition Support Fund, a reimbursement for expenses incurred in support of IS-led worldwide coalition forces in Afghanistan.

"This can help to have a more effective policy toward Pakistan and we can get some better results this time around", he said in response to a question. "We can no longer accept Pakistan's dual policies of fighting some terrorists while supporting others". Even while collaborating with the United States on counterterrorism, elements of the Pakistani military - a domineering institution that casts a long shadow over the state - were known to have cultivated, shielded and even at times directed a constellation of Islamist militant groups operating on either side of Pakistan's borders with Afghanistan and India.

Since 9/11, Pakistan has also played a key role in enabling American military operations against the Taliban. But the awkwardness of this marriage of convenience has been on display plenty of times.

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The key element in the new United States strategy for Afghanistan is to launch a two-pronged military offensive that inflicts a military defeat on the Taliban and forces them to join the Afghan reconciliation process on Kabul's conditions, diplomatic sources told Dawn News. Those adventures led to the creation of FATA, a buffer zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which later became the source of many troubles. His own administration withheld hundreds of millions of dollars of promised assistance to Islamabad because of Pakistan's inability (or unwillingness) to crack down on the notorious Haqqani network, as well as another militant group that targets India.

The foreign office outlined that working towards enduring peace required mutual respect and trust along with patience and persistence.

Without referring to the decision directly, it warned that "arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts are counterproductive in addressing common threats". The Pakistani minister of finance said that the American assistance is only one day's expenses for Pakistan. "I say we should stop now". In Karachi, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) - a religious part conglomerate of 40 religious parties and sectarian groups - burnt a USA flag and picture of Mr. Trump.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi then called a meeting of his National Security Committee which issued a statement noting "deep disappointment..."

Such fraught geopolitics are another reason Trump's threats may ring hollow.

"It is important to distinguish between Pakistani foreign policy in regards to Afghanistan, policy that is shaped by Pakistan's rivalry with India, and Pakistani domestic security policy aimed at Pakistan's Taliban groups", Harrison Akins, a Middle East security expert at the Howard Baker Center, told Newsweek.

Putting Pakistan on notice, the USA on Friday suspended over $1.15 billion in security aid and the supply of military equipment to it for failing to clamp down on the dreaded Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network terror groups and dismantle their sanctuaries on its soil. "This administration - like each one before - has cast its lot with Pakistan". So there are problems for Pakistan, and it has to put its own house in order. "Sanctions do not make a policy in and of themselves", noted an editorial in the Financial Times.

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