Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Amidst frustration on Pakistan's inaction against terrorist groups, Trumps cancels Aid

Amidst frustration on Pakistan's inaction against terrorist groups, Trumps cancels Aid

However, the United States is only stopping the security aid, the humanitarian assistance to Pakistan will continue.

President Donald Trump has been insisting that Pakistan clean up its act for a while now and had earlier also threatened to penalise the nation for not taking the necessary steps when it comes to fighting terror.

"There are legitimate reasons to cut back funding to Pakistan, but winning a Twitter war isn't one of them", he said.

Nauert made clear the $255 million was still blocked.

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The decision to cut funding comes just several days after President Donald Trump tweeted his disappointment with Pakistan, claiming that the USA got nothing but "lies and deceit" for the $33 billion in aid the US gave Pakistan between 2002 and 2018. The US Department of Defense has also suspended $900 million in Coalition Support Funds (CSF) to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017 and other unspent money in aid from previous fiscal years.

Trump unveiled in August a South Asia strategy aimed at ending the stalemate in the US war in Afghanistan, now entering its 17th year. "Until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, we consider them to be destabilizing the region and also targeting USA personnel, the United States will suspend that kind of security assistance to Pakistan".

As Washington blows hot and cold with the National Security Adviser H.R McMaster telling VoA, "Pakistan is a country with tremendous potential - human potential, economic potential...." It announced that it was placing Pakistan on a special watch list, pursuant to 2016 legislation.

But on Tuesday, Pakistan called Trump's tweet "completely incomprehensible" and at odds with recent "trust-building" visits by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Mattis.

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The haphazard nature of Thursday's announcement suggested it had been hastily arranged rather than developed through a traditional policy process.

While the Foreign Office gives no details of this "engagement", and what exact details are wanted from Washington over this suspension, nevertheless Islamabad did not shy away from stating that while it was determined to continue fighting terrorism with or without USA assistance, to-date its own resources ran into over $120 billion in 15 years to keep terrorism at bay. United States civilian and military assistance for Pakistan has dropped from an average of over $2.2 billion a year during the period immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks to an estimated $526 million in 2017.

The decision, which was announced Thursday, is meant to pressure Pakistan to help USA foreign policy priorities like clamping down on the Taliban in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan could fall back on Saudi Arabia and China for military supplies, but it still depends on the US for certain types of high-end equipment. Pakistan would continue honest efforts for restoration of peace and national interest, he reiterated.

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