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State Department: We're Suspending Security Assistance to Pakistan

05 January 2018
State Department: We're Suspending Security Assistance to Pakistan

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have taken quite a hit in the last few months after Islamabad has brazenly been ignoring the US' demands that the country raises its efforts to fight terror activities and stop providing "safe havens" to terrorists.

The dramatic freeze in deliveries of military equipment and security funding comes after US President Donald Trump lambasted Pakistan for its alleged support for militant safe havens, including in a furious new year tweet.

Responding to a question regarding the United States drone attacks in Pakistan, Ghafoor said the country would respond to such acts according to the aspiration of its people.

The cutoff is not permanent, Nauert said, and only affects military assistance.

In September a year ago, the U.S. suspended $255 million in funding to help Pakistan buy high-tech weaponry from American manufacturers. The CSF funds also compensate Pakistan for allowing the US-led coalition forces access its airfields and ports to provide supplies and logistics in their deployment in Afghanistan.

Those funds are typically paid later in the year, and already require USA certification, so the effect of Thursday's announcement was unclear.

The army spokesperson's reaction came as the USA withheld Dollars 255 million in aid to Pakistan following United States President Donald Trump's tweet castigating Islamabad for providing safe havens to terrorists.

Trump unveiled in August a South Asia strategy aimed at ending the stalemate in the USA war in Afghanistan, now entering its 17th year.

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.

Three days after US President Donald Trump's tweet on Pakistan, Washington announced Thursday that it would suspend almost all security assistance to Pakistan, which could affect at least $1.3 billion United States dollars in annual aid, according to a report by New York Times. Civilian assistance is not affected.

Also Thursday, the State Department accused Pakistan of severe violations of religious freedom. The step does not carry any serious consequences. He suggests that it is the time for Washington to end Pakistan's double games.

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.

This is not the first time the USA has cut assistance to Pakistan. -Pakistani cooperation for winning the release of an American woman, her Canadian husband and their children who had been held by Haqqani militants for five years. The U.S. originally increased funding to Pakistan in 2002 as part of its war on terror, and the Obama administration made Pakistan a priority as it planned to capture the terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan received over $32 billion in the form of USA security aid, economic aid and Coalition Support Funds (CSF) over 15 years.

According to Reuters report, U.S. officials said two main categories of aid are affected: foreign military financing (FMF), which funds purchases of United States military hardware, training and services, and coalition support funds (CSF), which reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations.

She also explained what the suspension entails and said that the United States will not be providing military equipment to Islamabad unless required there is a legal requirement.

'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 cooperation and USA supply lines into Afghanistan.