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USA suspending more than $255m in security aid to Pakistan

05 January 2018

Putting Pakistan on notice, the United States today suspended over Dollars 1.15 billion in security aid and the delivery of military equipment to it for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network terror groups and dismantle their safe havens.

However, a USA official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the newly suspended aid, which covers transfers of military equipment as well as reimbursements for Pakistani counterterrorism operations, would amount to more than $255 million.

The aid suspension will include equipment and the transfer of security-related funds, with possible exceptions for US national security reasons.

In August, while unveiling his new South Asia strategy, Trump had accused Pakistan of giving "safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror", and said the time had come "for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace".

The widely reported data collected from USA and Pakistan government agencies suggest a huge chunk, around $14.5 billion, has gone to the Pakistani military for covering its claimed costs of anti-terror operations.

The Trump administration had already announced that it would cut $255 million in funding while it reviews Pakistan's security strategies.

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"However, Congress and the public are concerned that Pakistan is not producing a measurable result to correlate with USA investment", the report said.

It said that Pakistan believed that its cooperation with United States in fighting terrorism directly served U.S. national security interests as well as the larger interests of the worldwide community.

They say Pakistan is not refusing to fight the Haqqani network, but that the two capitals disagree about the facts on the ground.

The deadline for that is September 30 this year.

Some analysts have said there is no real way to pressure Pakistan, which believes keeping Kabul out of nemesis India's orbit is more important than clamping down on cross-border militancy. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled to Pakistan to meet with government officials.

Nauert was at pains to point out that the frozen funds had not been cancelled, and would be ready to be disbursed if Pakistan takes action to prove its commitment to the fight.

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Interestingly, the Global Times said China has established its "first overseas military base in Djibouti", in the Horn of Africa in Indian Ocean.

Sedney say Pakistan is misusing the money: "They only fight the terrorists they want to fight and they don't fight the terrorists that we want them to fight". "They have to take decisive steps", she added.

United States officials told reporters that the suspension did not affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could go through if Islamabad took decisive action against the militant groups.

"We have not done anything thats irreversible here".

"We have got to see movement on this reduction of sanctuary and support for those insurgents and terrorists operating from Pakistan who are attacking our forces and our coalition diplomats and forces, as well as the Afghans, inside this country", Nicholson told reporters in November.

She added that Pakistan could review its cooperation with the USA if it is not appreciated. The impact isn't clear because few details have been released on how the Pakistani military has been using the funds.

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Meanwhile, the State Department on Thursday also placed Pakistan on a "special watch list for severe violations of religious freedom, "Nauert said in a statement". Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has summoned a meeting of the National Security Committee on 3rd January.

USA suspending more than $255m in security aid to Pakistan