U.S. Suspends At Least $900 Million In Security Aid To Pakistan

The United States said Thursday they would expose at least $ 900 million (664.31 million pounds) of security support to Pakistan until it takes action against the Afghan Taliban and the militant groups in the Haqqani network.

The US State Department announced the decision, saying the Trump government’s frustration has shown that Pakistan has not done more against the two groups that, according to Washington in Pakistan, have protected areas for attacks on Afghanistan, the US, Afghan and others Use to kill troops.

The department refused to say exactly how much help would be suspended, saying that the numbers were still calculated and included funds from the Department of State and Defense.

Pakistan has long rejected allegations that it can not tackle the militants who fight the government of Kabul and the US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan from the border crossings on their side of the border.

On Friday, Pakistan criticized what it called “shifting goalposts” and said the US suspension of aid was counterproductive.

US officials said that two main categories of aid are affected: Foreign Military Financing (FMF), which finances purchases of military equipment, US education and services, and Coalition Support Funds (CSF), which compensate Pakistan for anti-terrorist operations. They said they could make exceptions to finance important US national security priorities.

FreeFund CSF funds are frozen, said Pentagon spokesman Commander Patrick Evans, saying Congress approved up to $ 900 million for Pakistan for the 2017 fiscal year ending September 30 was still paid.

The freeze also covers $ 255 million of FMF funding for fiscal year 2016, which is under the responsibility of the US Department of State and has already been suspended, as well as unspecified FMF amounts in previous fiscal years not spent.

Briefing reporters, US officials, said the suspension would not affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could come through if Islamabad decidedly opposed the groups.

“We hope they see this as further evidence of the administration’s immense frustration with the way our relationship unfolds, and that they must take serious steps to put us on a sounder footing,” said the State Department official the reporters.

“We hope Pakistan will see this as an incentive rather than a punishment,” he added.

The Trump administration informed Congress of its decision on Wednesday.
Pakistan largely rejects the proposed cuts in US aid, but fears that Washington could take more drastic measures to avert Pakistan’s support for the Taliban.

Pakistan is concerned about the influence of its old rival India in Afghanistan and at the same time fights a Pakistani Taliban uprising that Pakistan says has been fueled to a large extent by its support for the US war on terrorism launched after the 9/11 attacks been on the United States.

“Arbitrary deadlines, unilateral declarations, and shifting goalposts are counterproductive to addressing common threats,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan is engaged in security cooperation with the US government and expects further details, it said.

Tense relations between the uneasy allies, who collapsed on January 1, when US President Donald Trump, despite the help of $ 33 billion on Twitter, whipped up Islamabad’s “lies and deceptions” and warned the White House against “specific actions” to pressure Pakistan ,

Trump’s frustrations are shared by some US legislators, who accused Pakistan of playing a double game by giving refuge to militant groups – which Islamabad denies – despite promising to crack down on them.

“Pakistan is one of the most double-edged governments I’ve ever dealt with,” said Senator Bob Corker, Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to reporters. “They are essentially the support of the Haqqani network or … to provide them with a safe haven in their country if they pose the greatest threat to our men and women in uniform.”

South Asian expert Christine Fair of Georgetown University expressed concern that Pakistan was struck by the closure of highways from the port city of Karachi, which is carrying equipment to land-bound Afghanistan, and the airspace through which supplies to the US-led International Retaliation could exercise powers there.

“What’s the plan when they close the GLOCs? “She asked, using the military acronym for Ground Lines of Communications.

“What if the Pakistanis shut down the Air Lines of Communications (ALOCs), how do you deliver the ANSF?” She asked in relation to the Afghan security forces.

“Pakistan could be in their rights if they tell us that you no longer have overflight rights,” she said.

Further reports by David Alexander, Phil Stewart and Patricia Zengerle and Drazen Jorgic in ISLAMABAD; Letter from Arshad Mohammed; Arrangement by James Dalgleish, Robert Birsel.

 

 

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