State Department: We're Suspending Security Assistance to Pakistan

State Department: We're Suspending Security Assistance to Pakistan

State Department: We're Suspending Security Assistance to Pakistan

Three days after US President Donald Trump's tweet on Pakistan, Washington announced Thursday that it would suspend almost all security assistance to Pakistan, which could affect at least $1.3 billion United States dollars in annual aid, according to a report by New York Times.

Having an Afghan neighbor as an ally in the global war on terrorism was key to the USA ousting the terror groups that had set up training camps in Afghanistan, and Pakistan quickly became the third-largest recipient of United States military and economic support.

"Pakistan had made alternate arrangements in advance", the spokesperson said, adding that the U.S. decision to stop aid would not affect Pakistani's financial requirements. However, details over where the money goes isn't clear, and Pakistan official reaction has downplayed the significance of the funds.

The widely reported data collected from us 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. Pakistan received the remaining $18.8 billion as economic assistance.

The statements indicate a major US-Pakistan split, one that could favour India.

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A look into the pattern of planned aid flow also reveals a steady decline in the aid volume in the last few years.

While several factors including conflicts in the bilateral relationship on the back of rising influence of China in Pakistan along with changes in the United States strategy could be termed as a reason for this decrease in aid, one can say without a doubt that the U.S. government even under Barack Obama was indeed gradually moving in this direction.

"For the last 70 years, defense is a one-line budget", said Qaisar Bengali, a leading Pakistani economist and former adviser to the government on economy and finance. "There are no questions asked, no discussion takes place, no scrutiny takes place [on the defense budget]".

The biggest aspect of the bilateral relationship has been the large financial aid Washington has been providing Islamabad to sustain the "war on terror" since September 11.

"They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters before departing the White House for a visit to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC, U.S., December 21, 2017.

Nauert added that Pakistan had been given adequate notice to shut down the terrorist networks.

The CSF funds also compensate Pakistan for allowing the US-led coalition forces access its airfields and ports to provide supplies and logistics in their deployment in Afghanistan.

For the year 2018, as per United States government's foreign assistance website, about $344 million of U.S. aid has been stipulated for Pakistan.

He said the effects of Pakistan's operations against the Haqqani network can not be visible immediately. This amount was due from the 2016 budget.

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Pakistan's top civil and military leaders on Tuesday showed disappointment at the recent remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump against the country and rejected the "unwarranted allegations", said the Prime Minister Office here after a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC).

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