U.S. suspends security assistance with Pakistan over Taliban attacks

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"Until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani group - we consider them to be a destabilizing the region and targeting USA personnel - the United States will suspend that type of security assistance to Pakistan".

The data-indicative of worsening US-Pakistan ties-come as US President Donald Trump slammed Pakistan's "lies and deceit" for providing "safe havens" to terrorists in exchange of $33 billion worth of US aid to Islamabad.

Later that month, the administration notified Pakistan that it was delaying a payment of $255 million in military aid, pending progress against Haqqani network militants who the USA says are based in Pakistan and aid the Taliban. From 2012 to 2017, the planned United States aid after considerable cuts every year reached a paltry $525 million when compared to $2.34 billion in 2011. None of the $900 million as so far been disbursed, the Pentagon said. But cutting funding to Pakistan will do little to advance USA interests in the region, analysts note. This led the U.S. to become critical of Pakistan's role in fighting terror, particularly on the matter of safe havens to terrorists.

Ayaz Sadiq, speaker of the lower house of parliament, told reporters after a closed-door meeting of the parliament's national security committee that they discussed the situation following Trump's tweet and that a follow-up meeting will decide on the "strategy".

Referring to Trumps new strategy, Nauert said despite a sustained high-level engagement by Trump administration with the government of Pakistan, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilise Afghanistan and also attack the USA and allied personnel.

Civilian development and economic assistance to Pakistan is not affected.

Pakistan said the message was "completely incomprehensible" and at odds with the recent "trust-building" visits by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis. The step does not carry any serious consequences.

Defense Minister Khurram Dastagir said Thursday there should be "no doubt or fear as the defense of Pakistan is in competent and strong hands".

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Prof. Lin believes if the US and its allies push their Indo- Pacific strategy to the extreme, China will surely carry out a plan with Pakistan to ensure the security of sea routes. US aid agencies alone gave nearly $5 million to Pakistan in 2017, according to data from USAID. She said that the United States can not get its objectives by giving threats to other States.

"It's north of $255 million", said one USA official.

They say the insurgents have safe havens in Pakistan's border areas and links to its shadowy military establishment, which aims to use them in Afghanistan as a regional bulwark against arch-nemesis India.

The haphazard nature of Thursday's announcement suggested it had been hastily arranged rather than developed through a traditional policy process.

Observers say Jiwani could be a pressure tactic by Pakistan as China is already developing Gwadar where earlier reports said Beijing plans to station its marines.

Pakistan's influential military has not come up with a verified breakdown to convince the US that it is spending the money wisely along the guidelines for how it can be used, which is essentially supposed to go only toward expenses that go above what the army would spend on normal operations. -Pakistani cooperation for winning the release of an American woman, her Canadian husband and their children who had been held by Haqqani militants for five years. The U.S. originally increased funding to Pakistan in 2002 as part of its war on terror, and the Obama administration made Pakistan a priority as it planned to capture the terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Asked about the types of military equipment covered by the freeze, Nauert said: "I'm not going to be able to get into the specifics of that. Pakistan's cooperation is not based on any consideration of aid but on our national interests and principles", Maleeha Lodh, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, said in response to Haley's comments.

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