Amid suspension of military aid to Pakistan, US, India discuss bilateral issues

Sunday, 07 Jan, 2018

Frustrated at Pakistan's inaction on terror groups of Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network groups, the USA yesterday suspended 2 billion United States dollars in security aid to Pakistan a White House Official revealed.

However, aid suspension would not hinder Pakistan's efforts to counter terrorism and extremism.

The White House National Security Council spokesperson said the suspension included around $1 billion in security assistance, including foreign military funding (FMF) from prior years for equipment not yet delivered and $255 million in 2016 FMF funding that was notified to Congress in August 2017.

Days later, USA has put Pakistan on watch list for religious freedom violations and announced to suspend security assistance to Pakistan targeting Coalition Support Funds (CSF).

Earlier this week, U.S. president Donald Trump called a halt to aid to Pakistan in one of his infamous Twitter posts.

"Good idea Rand!" Trump wrote on Twitter Friday night, retweeting a post by Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky, from earlier, saying, "I'm introducing a bill to end aid to Pakistan in the coming days". Just how much aid is to be suspended is not known precisely but it would all be military and no civilian aid is to be curtailed. "What matters, I think, to the Pakistanis is the - is the symbolism of doing this, that it represents a deterioration of our relationship, something that they care about a great deal", said a senior administration official. "I don't want to get into specific because the implementation is still being worked out but there certainly will be exceptions made when the items are deemed to be in the USA national security interests", the official said.

"The real question will be how this loss of support will be translated within Pakistani domestic security policy, and whether the loss of Pakistan as an ally is endemic of a much larger problem with American stature and influence on the global stage", Akins continued.

"We can take unilateral steps". The impact of the USA decision on pursuit of common objectives is also likely to emerge more clearly in due course of time, Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement in Islamabad. We are hopeful that we will be able to cooperate in the future. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. "Pakistan has played a double game for years". Another Republican senator, Rand Paul, said that he would introduce legislation to eliminate all USA aid to Pakistan. In February 2016, he had introduced a joint resolution in the senate opposing an Obama administration's proposal to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan at costs subsidized by USA taxpayers.