Pakistan in talks with United States over security assistance: FO

As US freezes aid Pakistan dismisses economic fears

Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said the United States had conveyed to Pakistan "concrete steps" to take before the United States would resume hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, which was suspended after U.S. President Donald Trump said Pakistan had lied and deceived the United States while providing safe havens to terrorists fighting in Afghanistan.

Welcoming the participants, Khawaja Asif stated that the briefing was arranged to inform the diplomatic corps about the massive counter-terrorism efforts that Pakistan had undertaken in the last 16 years, more so the developments in the last 4 years.

After much criticism from the Trump administration, the government of Pakistan has made a decision to cease all military and intelligence cooperation with the United States, according to Pakistani defence minister Khurram Dastgir Khan.

A senior US State Department official also said last week that "We believe that there is significant evidence that leadership of the Haqqani Network resides inside Pakistan and is able to plan and execute from Pakistan attacks inside Afghanistan". He added that the U.S.is suspending but not cutting off permanently security aid to Pakistan.

The already tense relations between the USA and Pakistan further deteriorated after Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on January 1, that Pakistan "gives safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".

Robin Raphel, a former assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, told VOA on Wednesday Washington and Islamabad's current policy of tit-for-tat will not advance either side's interest.


Reports also suggested that the USA decision to block aid to Pakistan could affect about 2 billion US dollars worth of assistance.

Pakistan's response last week, however, was more tempered than previous official statements to past accusations.

The report said that the announcement was made by Pakistan Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan during an address at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Tuesday.

"The United States has tuned Afghanistan into another Vietnam as it needs a scapegoat. But, everyone in the US knows from their hearts that the USA can not dump Pakistan's sacrifices for the so-called war against terrorism", Munir told Xinhua on Wednesday.

A Pakistani court has ordered the release of the radical anti-U.S. cleric who went to Afghanistan with thousands of volunteers to help the Taliban fight against Americans after the 2001 US -led invasion.

Islamabad had earlier showed restraint despite allegations by the USA leaders and aid suspension but the defense minister's statement could be seen an indication that his country will be forced to make decision in its national interests. The Defense Minister added that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces supply lines in Afghanistan were still open. "Security funding and pending deliveries will be frozen, but not cancelled or reprogrammed at this time".

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