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US Ambassador Discusses Pakistan Aid Cut With India

09 January 2018

The step does not carry any serious consequences, although it could lead to sanctions if Pakistan is further relegated to a US list of "countries of particular concern".

On Friday, Pakistan criticized what it called "shifting goalposts" and said the USA suspension of aid was counter-productive.

The freezing of all security assistance to Pakistan comes after President Donald Trump in a New Year's Day tweet accused the country of giving nothing to the United States but "lies and deceit" and providing "safe haven" to terrorists in return for Dollars 33 billion aid over the last 15 years. "But right now, we're frustrated and we want to indicate to Pakistan our seriousness about the issue of dealing with safe havens", the official said.

Speaking at a news briefing at Pentagon in Washington, James Mattis said the United States is still working with Pakistan and would restore aid if it takes action against terrorists.

The anger and frustration expressed by the president is not only justified, it's long overdue. Pressure from the US also resulted in a buildup of Pakistani military presence along the border with Afghanistan.

In efforts to persuade Islamabad to abandon this nefarious "double game", the US government has deployed a constant stream of diplomatic and economic carrots-including $33 billion in aid and "reimbursements" since 2002-but virtually no sticks.

Predictably, each attempt has failed.

Trump's frustrations are shared by some USA lawmakers, who accused Pakistan of playing a double game by allowing militant groups sanctuary - which Islamabad denies - despite promising to crack down on them.

"It is important to distinguish between Pakistani foreign policy in regards to Afghanistan, policy that is shaped by Pakistan's rivalry with India, and Pakistani domestic security policy aimed at Pakistan's Taliban groups", Harrison Akins, a Middle East security expert at the Howard Baker Center, told Newsweek. It is these people in the White House who have all along talked about keeping a military "parity" between India and Pakistan.

What concrete actions were taken, such as on Pakistani aid, were counterproductive, Burrows said. The value of the assistance suspended is over $1.15 billion.

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The presiding judge said, "An open jail is best for these people (convicts), as they also have experience of cow farming'". The quantum of sentence was announced by the CBI court after a delay of two days via video conferencing.

Pakistan can't say it wasn't warned.

The decision is seen as a knee-jerk reaction to mounting global pressure on Pakistan to take action against Afghan militant groups allegedly operating from the country's soil.

"Our hope is that they will see this as a further indication of this administration's enormous frustration with the trajectory of our relationship and that they need to be serious about taking the steps we have asked in order to put it on more solid footing", a senior State Department official told reporters. "That will have to change and that will change immediately".

Haley insisted that "That game is not acceptable to this administration".

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE spent the first week of the year flexing his muscles on the world stage, strongly supporting Iranian protestors and sending the signal that foreign aid could be cut off to nations that differ too much from USA policies.

On Thursday, the US State Department also tweeted that it has placed deeply conservative Muslim Pakistan on a special watch list for severe violations of religious freedom.

At least one influential Pakistani politician seems to be taking the Trump administration seriously. Paul tweeted he would propose a bill to put the money intended for Pakistan into an infrastructure fund to build roads and bridges at home, Sputnik reported.

Unfortunately, Pakistan's all-powerful military appears unable to escape a prison of perpetual denial.

The United States has been in Afghanistan for nearly 17 years following the September 11, 2001 attacks in Washington and NY.

That's simply not going to cut it anymore. The status quo, long viewed by Washington as lamentable but tolerable, will no longer be a costless affair for Pakistan. Whether this leads our two countries toward a vicious cycle of hostility and recrimination is entirely dependent on Pakistan's behavior.