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US halt security assistance to Pakistan

US halt security assistance to Pakistan

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On
Nov 21, 2018 - 09:07

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated that he has stopped all security assistance to Pakistaninfo-icon because it has done nothing for America, as he kept the doors open for talks with Islamabad nothing that he wants them to help the US.

“I want Pakistan to help us. We're no longer paying $1.3 billion to Pakistan. We're paying them nothing because that's what they've done to help us. Nothing,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump said he has cut those payments off a long time ago. “We're not paying Pakistan any money because they're not helping us at all and we'll see where it all goes,” Trump said referring to the decision he took early this year.

“I hope to have a good relationship with Pakistan. But right now, we're paying Pakistan nothing. I cut them off. They were getting $1.3 billion a year. They're not getting anything now,” Trump asserted.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said the US has suspended USD1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan. “USS1.66 billion of security assistance to Pakistan is suspended,” Col Rob Manning, spokesman of the Department of Defense told reporters in an email response to questions. He did not elaborate further.

David Sedney, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary Defense for Afghanistaninfo-icon, Pakistan and Central Asia during the Obama administration, said that the blocking of military assistance to Pakistan, which began in January of this year is a strong signal of American frustration. 

“But, so far Pakistan has taken no serious steps to address the core US concern - that Pakistan tolerates and often encourages groups which use violence against Pakistan's neighbors,” Sedney told Pajhwok Afghan News.

“Pakistan's leaders have promised cooperation, but beyond words, serious cooperation has not happened, therefore President Trump is frustrated and so are most Americans,” he said. “This frustration does not ignore the suffering that Pakistani people have undergone.  It just asks Pakistan to recognize that it should act to help stop the suffering of others,” he added.

Currently a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank, Sedney said while Pakistan has suffered terribly from terrorism by Islamic extremists, Islamabad has also enabled extremists groups that attack its neighbors, he observed. 

After years of dithering, in recent years Pakistan's security forces have moved strongly against the extremists that threaten the Pakistani state, he added.  “What the US seeks, what President Trump is asking for, is for Pakistan to take the same kind of measures against the Talibaninfo-icon, against Lashkhar-e-Taiba, and against all groups in Pakistan that threaten Pakistan's neighbors,” he said. 

“But, we still see the Taliban moving weapons, fighters and money through Pakistan.  We still see Taliban commanders taking refugee in Pakistan, keeping their families in Pakistan, holding meetings and conducting training in Pakistan, and shipping explosives from Pakistan into Afghanistan,” Sydney alleged.

“We see leaders of sanctioned organizations acting freely in Pakistan and speaking publicly in favor of violence.   If Pakistan would take some strong measures against the Taliban, peace would come to Afghanistan quickly,” he argued.  The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has roped in former top American diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad for peace talks with the Taliban.

With peace, both Afghanistan and Pakistan would benefit from a huge "peace dividend,” he said.

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