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Pakistan fights anti-terror war on its own resources: Foreign Ministry

Pakistan fights anti-terror war on its own resources: Foreign Ministry

It remains to be seen how the USA decision will affect the long-fraught relations with Pakistan, which has increasingly turned to China for economic assistance and military equipment.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced overnight that it would suspend nearly all security assistance to Pakistan unless it takes action against Afghan militants.

It is "approximately two billion worth of equipment and coalition support funding that is in play", the official said on condition of anonymity.

The Trump administration announced Thursday it was suspending - not ending, as proposed by Paul, or cancelling - almost all security related assistance to Pakistan, that includes foreign military financing, U.S. financial assistance to recipient country to buy United States military hardware, and Coalition Support Fund, a reimbursement for expenses incurred in support of IS-led global coalition forces in Afghanistan. Later in the week, the Trump administration moved to block an estimated $2 billion in military aid earmarked for Pakistan. The Pakistani minister of finance said that the American assistance is only one day's expenses for Pakistan. "We are conducting a complete analysis and coolly formulating our response".

China, it said, will continue its economic support to Pakistan, which is its prime partner.

"Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years", said the statement.

It is largely shrugging off the proposed USA aid cuts but frets that Washington could take more drastic measures to deter what it sees as Pakistan's support for the Taleban. "But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" "We have certainly expressed our concern about the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks being let out of house arrest in Pakistan".

On Thursday, the senator said, "I've been fighting to end Pakistani aid for years". Pentagon spokesperson Commander Patrick Evans said that the entire $900 million would be frozen. Tillerson gave directions at the time of its expiry to keep $255 million separately and "withhold placing any of those funds on actual contacts".

Pakistani officials are "going to become much more forceful in terms of their rhetoric towards the United States, especially because there's an election coming up, probably in May", said Shamila Chaudhary of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, in an interview with Slate's Isaac Chotiner. The amount appropriated in a certain year usually "expires" by September 30 of the next year. So, this action should not come as a surprise to them, Nauert said. "Pakistan has the ability to get this money back, in the future, but they have to take decisive action".

"We have been saying for years that neighboring Pakistan is providing safe haven to terrorist groups, and they were also funding the terrorist groups", Nasrat Rahim, deputy interior ministry spokesman, told reporters in Kabul.

But Pakistan's foreign ministry issued a cautious statement in which it said it was "engaged" with USA officials and awaiting further details.

"We have not done anything that's irreversible here. We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism".

The Pakistani leadership was quick to claim that some of the money cited was actually reimbursement for costs incurred for participating in the US-led "war on terror" and supporting USA operations in Afghanistan. "If you listen to the Pakistani officials, they say that it won't mean much".

We're hoping that Pakistan will see this as an incentive, not a punishment.

Interestingly, the United States official said that while public pronoucements have focussed on safe havens for thr Haqqani network and Taliban, conversations with Pakistan have also included "concerns about their nuclear program... the ability of anti-India groups like Lashkar-e Tayyiba and Jaish-e Mohammed to fundraise and operate; and Hafiz Saeed, the head of Lashkar-e Tayyiba, who was recently released from house arrest". Pakistan denies allegations but President Trump has escalated the criticism against the country since he took office last January.