US Suspends Security Aid To Pakistan Over Terrorists

Reacting to US threats, Pak army official says 'no amount of coercion can dictate us'

However, Nauert did not give the size of the assistance that was now being suspended. Civilian assistance is not affected.

The United States has suspended its security assistance to Pakistani forces, the State Department said Thursday, demanding "decisive action" against Taliban factions based in the country.

She also explained what the suspension entails and said that the United States will not be providing military equipment to Islamabad unless required there is a legal requirement.

Pakistan has fought fierce campaigns against homegrown Islamist groups, and says it has lost thousands of lives and spent billions of dollars in its long war on extremism.

Three days ago, Trump complained on Twitter that Pakistan had "given us nothing but lies and deceit" and accused it of providing "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan".

Ahead of Nauert's remarks, military spokesman Maj.

"If the funding is cut, the Pakistanis will obviously retaliate by ceasing to cooperate with the U.S.", Dr. Zubair Iqbal, an economist focusing on Pakistan, told Newsweek.

The rhetoric has raised hackles in Islamabad and fears the row could undermine Pakistan's support for United States operations in Afghanistan.

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

On Thursday the administration said it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan, including $255 million in military aid this year. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately".

The freeze covers most of the security aid to Pakistan and it follows the withholding of $255 million in military aid to Islamabad that was announced earlier.

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The latest USA defense budget signed by Trump in December allocates $700 million in conditional aid to reimburse Pakistan for supporting US military operations in Afghanistan, but the aid is facing more scrutiny.

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. In the 1990s, Washington imposed aid-cutting sanctions related to Pakistan's nuclear program and a military coup that deposed an elected prime minister.

"This is more of a political statement in response to pressure from the US, telling the USA that Pakistan has a great relationship with China and that Pakistan would become even closer with China", Mr. Dong told the Global Times.

Since 2002, USA aid to Pakistan has totaled almost $34 billion but declined in recent years, according to the Congressional Research Service. However, the figure is expected to be as much as $1.3 billion.

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 that Washington says use sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan that have killed U.S., Afghan and other forces.

Currently, the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation depend on Pakistan for logistical support for their operations in Afghanistan, a key part of fighting terrorism. Officials say the country has made enormous sacrifices to support the USA war on terror.

Bengali says Washington could make Pakistan's life more hard by using International Monetary Fund and World Bank forums to tighten up much-needed dollars for Pakistan.

"We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated".

"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.

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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