Why it's so hard for United States to crack down on Pakistan

Share

Nauert told reporters that the suspension will remain in effect until Pakistan "takes decisive action" against groups, such as the Taliban, that are "destabilizing the region and targeting USA personnel".

The Trump administration could be endangering the lives of US troops in the Middle East with its decision to cut almost all American security aid to Pakistan, experts say.

Washington confirmed it will withhold $255 million in US military aid to Pakistan this year, a threat first issued last August when Trump announced his Afghan policy, which took aim at Pakistan and demanded an end to Islamabad's alleged support for the Afghan Taliban.

The announcement followed the US President Donald Trump's derogatory Tweet in which he held Pakistan responsible for allowing terrorists to move around and launch attacks on US-led Coalition Forces in adjoining Afghanistan.

Relations between Pakistan and the USA long have been strained, and tensions have only grown since the summer, when the Trump administration announced its policy on Afghanistan and South Asia.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) senior leader Senator Sherry Rehman has deplored the United States' attitude towards Pakistan, and said that Washington should learn the manners of addressing any Independent State.

This is not the first time the USA has cut assistance to Pakistan.

The Trump administration's strategy for ending the war in Afghanistan and defeating terror groups in the region faces its first major test in its confrontation with Pakistan.

But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups that attack Afghanistan from safe havens along the border between the two countries.

"Aid cuts will not hurt us", Pakistan's finance ministry head Miftah Ismail told Reuters.

Four CRPF troopers, two militants killed in Kashmir
Two heavily armed JeM terrorists attacked the camp at about 2 am, said Inspector General of CRPF Ravideep Sahi. According to emerging reports, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen hand suspected behind the attack.

While several factors including conflicts in the bilateral relationship on the back of rising influence of China in Pakistan along with changes in the U.S. strategy could be termed as a reason for this decrease in aid, one can say without a doubt that the United States government even under Barack Obama was indeed gradually moving in this direction.

"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 country received more than $1 billion in US assistance in 2016. However, details over where the money goes isn't clear, and Pakistan official reaction has downplayed the significance of the funds.

The financial aid started flowing soon after the 9/11 attacks on NY and Washington, following 11 years of sanctions over Pakistan's nuclear weapons program.

Observers say Jiwani could be a pressure tactic by Pakistan as China is already developing Gwadar where earlier reports said Beijing plans to station its marines.

"The Trump administration decision has abundantly vindicated India's stand as far as terror is concerned and as far as the role of Pakistan is concerned in perpetrating terrorism", according to minister of state in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh, NDTV reported on January 2, 2018.

Trump, Secretary Defence Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence have rejected Pakistan's explanations and hurled threats of aid cut, sanctions and losing territory if it fails to abide by the U.S. dictates.

The military aid, known as foreign military financing, "promotes the development of Pakistan's long-term [counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism] capabilities and improves Pakistan's ability to participate in maritime security operations and counter-maritime piracy", according to the State Department. For the success of covert operations launched by RAW-NDS combine backed by CIA, MI-6, Mossad and BND from Afghan and Iran soils in FATA and Baluchistan from 2003 onwards, Pakistan was subjected to a willful propaganda campaign to demonize and discredit it by painting it as the most unsafe country of the world.

Pakistan, which serves as a key transport route for supplies to USA forces in Afghanistan, denies harboring terrorists.

"It's north of $255 million", said one US official.

Share