Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

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

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

The Pakistan foreign office claimed that Washington's "shifting goalposts" was "counterproductive", but also noted that Islamabad remained "engaged with the USA administration on the issue of security cooperation and awaits further details". From $2.60 billion in 2013 to $1.60 billion in 2015, the request for aid appropriations and military reimbursements in 2018 fell to just $350 million. During high tension six years ago, Pakistan closed overland routes into Afghanistan for several months.

The newspaper added that the move could be used in response to the diplomatic steps taken by the United States.

Unlike numerous president's other stances on foreign affairs, though, Trump's exasperation with Pakistan is widely shared in Washington's establishment policy circles.

That's why, despite their strident tone, it's unclear whether Trump's tweets signal a real shift in USA policy.

President Donald Trump's freeze on aid to Pakistan could be worth nearly two billion dollars, a senior USA administration official said on Friday - substantially more than first thought. "To my knowledge, that has nothing to do with that", she said in response to a question on Saeed, who was released by Pakistan on November a year ago. For Indians, Trump's tweet and the suspension of funds was a moment of vindication.

In China's officialdom, Mr. Trump's verbal assault on Pakistan triggered a robust defence by Beijing of its all-weather ally.

Trump had called on Pakistan to do more to fight terrorism in August, when he announced his new strategy for the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Now, the Defense Department has been instructed to stop making payments from "coalition support funds" set aside to refund Pakistani spending on counter-terrorist operations.

It is telling that (notwithstanding the temptation to gloat) India's foreign ministry avoided any hasty comment on Trump's Twitter rant.

What concrete actions were taken, such as on Pakistani aid, were counterproductive, Burrows said.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Asif said that Pakistan had suspended its alliance with U.S., adding that their behaviour was unbecoming of an ally.

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"That is what approximately USD2 billion worth of equipment and the Coalition support funding that that is in play", the official said.

Frankly, none of it has worked.

"This was expected, and Pakistan was preparing for that", the analyst told Radio Sputnik, referring to the State Department's announcement earlier this week that Washington would no longer transfer certain military equipment and security-related financial assistance to the Pakistani armed forces. In 2009, then-president Barack Obama pointed to the terrorist "safe havens" in Pakistan as part of the need to ramp up American troop levels in Afghanistan. The council will now hold multiparty conferences in Faisalabad on January 12 and in Lahore on January 13 against the USA threats to Pakistan. These developments pushed Pakistan away from the USA war efforts in the neighbouring country and brought it closer to China.

Pakistan was engaged with the US administration on security cooperation and awaited further detail, it said.

"Unless we deal with the Pakistan sanctuary issue, it will undermine all of our other efforts in Afghanistan", the senior official said.

The Forbes: In India and Afghanistan in the other hand, Trump's tweet received support and celebration.

It made front page news in India, since Pakistan has always been considered India's most bitter adversary.

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

Similarly, the Afghan ambassador to the United States, Hamdullah Mohib, and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai both welcomed the tweet.

The Foreign Policy magazine: Even as the tweet continued to titillate Trump enthusiasts in India and at home, however, the responsible members of Trump's government were strategizing how to roll it back. Later that same day, a White House National Security Council spokesperson explained what, specifically, to expect: "The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 foreign military financing for Pakistan at this time". This is not the sweeping cut off that Trump implied in his braggadocios tweet.

It is also worth noting that Trump's tweet only reinforced what the "New York Times" reported on December 29, that the Trump administration was going to withhold - wait for it - $255 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF). We are hopeful that we will be able to cooperate in the future.

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