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After Trump threatens to cut aid to Pak, India says stand vindicated

07 January 2018
After Trump threatens to cut aid to Pak, India says stand vindicated

Overall, the US gave Pakistan around $67 billion in aid between 1951 and 2011, according to the Center for Global Development, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Pakistan civilian and military chiefs on Tuesday rejected "incomprehensible" US comments and summoned American Ambassador David Hale to explain Trump's tweet. He even indicated that China will work with Pakistan and Afghanistan to counter USA moves.

On Monday, Trump said the US had "foolishly" given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had gotten nothing in return but "lies & deceit".

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE's New Year's Day tweet blasting Pakistan prompted the country's National Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, according to CNN.

Reports from Washington said the USA administration was following up on Trump's outburst by cancelling $255 million in aid to Pakistan.

Pakistan's foreign minister, Khawaja Asif, told Geo television on Monday that Pakistan has already refused to "do more" for the United States.

The Haqqani Network operates in Afghanistan from safe havens across the border in Pakistan, targeting US-led global coalition forces.

"There are considerable risks for the USA because Pakistan could retaliate in ways that would be very problematic for US regional interests", he said, such as curtailing intelligence co-operation and USA supply lines into Afghanistan. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.

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. Islamabad had for months suspended the lines of communications in 2011 to protest US bombings of Pakistani border posts that killed 24 soldiers.

Speaking earlier with BBC Urdu, Khan said Washington ought to "prefer" cooperation over confrontation, noting that half of Pakistan's airspace and land routes were still open to the United States - and without them, its ability to operate in Afghanistan would be greatly diminished.

He tweeted: "We will respond to President Trump's tweet shortly inshallah".

A former top American diplomat - who served as the USA envoy to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations - today suggested a series of steps against Pakistan including slapping sanctions against the spy agency ISI and unilateral strikes inside its territory to end Islamabad's double game.

Washington has long accused Pakistan, especially its security institutions, of turning ignoring or covertly helping the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani terrorist network to stage cross-border attacks against Afghan and USA -led forces.

US assistance to Pakistan, which rose sharply after the 9/11 attacks, has been declining since 2011 when American commandos killed Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan, straining relations.

The State Department's declaration signalled growing frustration over Pakistan's co-operation in fighting terrorist networks.

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond", he said in a speech.

The official added the administration would continue to "review Pakistan's level of cooperation", Fox News reported.

"China and Pakistan are all-weather partners". But Trump's action, which includes a move to cancel a $255 million aid package to Pakistan, will damage its creditworthiness and deliver a major jolt to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), political observers here said.