Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

America suspends entire security aid to Pakistan

America suspends entire security aid to Pakistan

Earlier Thursday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday the policy on military aid is "still being formulated".

Nauert made clear the $255 million was still blocked, and the Pentagon said the new action targets payments of so-called Coalition Support Funds that the USA pays to Pakistan to reimburse it for its counterterrorism operations.

South Asia expert Christine Fair of Georgetown University voiced concern that Pakistan might retaliate for the suspension by closing the highways from the port city of Karachi on which equipment is trucked to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the airspace through which supplies are flown to US-led global forces in landlocked Afghanistan.

Briefing reporters, USA officials stressed the suspension did not affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could go through if Islamabad took decisive action against the groups.

Yet another option is to work with India and Afghanistan to bring more pressure on Pakistan.

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

Nauert named the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network among terrorist organisations against whom Pakistan has to take "decisive action" for lifting the freeze of the delivery of military equipment and transfer security-related funds.

New York-The US is suspending most aid to Pakistan because of its failure to curb terrorism enforcing President Donald Trump's repeated warnings to Islamabad, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced on Thursday. The US had then asked Pakistan to hand over the operative to the US, but the former had blatantly refused to oblige, clearly rubbing the US the wrong way. For fiscal year 2017, which ended on September 30, 2017, it has authorized up to $900 million in CSF, which falls under Pentagon authority.

Mr Trump said the United States had "foolishly" given Pakistan more than $33bn (£24.4bn) in aid over the last 15 years, only to receive "lies and deceit" in return.

Referring to Trumps new strategy, Nauert said despite a sustained high-level engagement by Trump administration with the government of Pakistan, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilise Afghanistan and also attack the USA and allied personnel.

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The president lamented that more than 2,500 recipients were from Afghanistan, expressing concerns about terrorism. After that, The Times reports , Kelly, Tillerson, and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller got into an argument.

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"There is a United States dollars 10 million reward out for information leading to his re-arrest, the person who is the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks who was let go in Pakistan", Nauert said.

According to a senior State Department official, no decision has been taken on the fate of Dollars 255 million security assistance to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017.

Two other officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the amount suspended would total more than $255 million. I also rubbished the claim of $33 billion and added that Pakistan lost $123 billion in U.S. imposed war besides 70,000 human casualties. "They have to take decisive steps", she added.

He said during the meeting, all members of the committee tried to understand the real issue and focused on possible measures to be taken in future to handle the issue in the best national interest.

But she and two senior State Department officials stressed that the suspensions were not permanent - with the possibility of Pakistan earning the funds back if it takes steps to show cooperation.

"We have not done anything thats irreversible here".

In the post-9/11 period, Pakistan emerged as one of the biggest recipients of United States aid because of its role as a regional ally in the American-led military intervention in Afghanistan. "What matters I think to the Pakistanis is that it is the symbolism of doing this that it represents a deterioration of our relationship that they care about a great deal", the official said.

"So we were hoping that this is an incentive that they don't want to see this relationship deteriorate any further and that they're going to commit to working with us to try to find a way to put it on a more solid footing", the official added. Initially vague information on how much money and materiel was being withheld suggested the primary goal was to substantiate President Donald Trump's surprising New Year's Day tweet that accused Pakistan of playing US leaders for "fools".

Pakistan is a key partner in the fight against terrorism, but the US has also accused it of supporting and providing safe haven to terror groups like the Haqqani Network, an independent division of the Taliban responsible for multiple attacks in neighboring Afghanistan over the years.

Also on Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson placed Pakistan on a special watch list for severe violations of religious freedom.

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