25 May 2019

Pakistan responds to US military aid suspension

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In response to the U.S. decision to suspend military aid, Pakistan on Friday said “arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting of goalposts” are counterproductive in addressing common threats. reports citing AA.

"Emergence of new and more deadly groups such as Daesh in Afghanistan calls for enhancing international cooperation,” according to a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

The statement came hours after the U.S. State Department announced that the country will suspend most of the security aid to Pakistan.

"We will not deliver military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters, claiming that Pakistan provides safe havens to terrorists fighting in Afghanistan.

She did not reveal the estimated amount of aid funds that will be cut off. However, as much as $1.3 billion could be frozen, according to experts.

“Pakistan has the ability to get this money back in the future, but they have to take decisive action,” Nauert said, adding that the suspension could be lifted if Pakistan changed its behavior by doing more to fight terror groups.

However, Pakistan denied the charges saying the U.S. needs to appreciate the country, which has fought the war against terrorism “largely from its own resources”, which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years.

The statement said Pakistan is determined to do all it takes to secure the lives of citizens and broader stability in the region.

"We believe that Pakistan-US cooperation in fighting terrorism has directly served US national security interests as well as the larger interests of international community.

“It has helped decimate Al-Qaeda and fight other groups, who took advantage of ungoverned spaces, a long porous border [between Pakistan and Afghanistan] and posed a common threat to peace".

The statement noted that Pakistan eliminated organized terrorist presence that led to significant improvement of security in Pakistan.

"Our efforts towards peace are awaiting reciprocal actions from the Afghan side in terms of clearance of vast stretches of ungoverned spaces on the Afghan side, bilateral border management, repatriation of Afghan refugees, controlling poppy cultivation, drug trafficking and initiating Afghan-led and owned political reconciliation in Afghanistan," it added.

On Monday, the U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet that the U.S. had “foolishly” given billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan, which in return had allegedly provided safe havens to terrorists fighting in Afghanistan.

However, the charge was immediately denied by Islamabad. Pakistan expressed “deep disappointment” over the U.S. claims and said it was already doing a lot to fight militants.

2018.01.05 / 17:59
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