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Expect specific action on Pak. this week, says US

06 January 2018

"We know that they can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on January 2, adding that further action will be announced within 48 hours.

The reaction followed Trump's message on Twitter, where he wrote that the United States had allocated millions of dollars in aid to Pakistan, while the latter had not contributed to countering terrorism and provided safe harbor to terrorists from Afghanistan.

The Trump administration has already withheld $255 million in military aid - part of a $1.1 billion package approved by US Congress in 2016. Initially vague information on how much money and materiel was being withheld suggested the primary goal was to substantiate President Donald Trump's surprising New Year's Day tweet that accused Pakistan of playing USA leaders for "fools".

In a Twitter post on the first day of 2018, US President Donald Trump had accused Pakistan of "lying and deceit" and providing safe havens to terrorists despite taking over $33 billion in aid.

Speaking earlier with BBC Urdu, Khan said Washington ought to "prefer" cooperation over confrontation, noting that half of Pakistan's airspace and land routes were still open to the U.S. - and without them, its ability to operate in Afghanistan would be greatly diminished. The US carried out some 60,000 attacks from Pakistani soil, it said. "The U.S. still needs these facilities and Pakistan can stop it".

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"Trump is disappointed at the USA defeat in Afghanistan and that is the only reason he is flinging accusations at Pakistan.

I welcome today's clarity in President Trump's remarks and propose a joint U.S. - regional coalition to pressurize the Pakistan military establishment to bring peace to not just Afghanistan but the entire region", Karzai said Monday on Twitter.

Pakistan is a USA partner in southern Asia. This money could be given only if the administration certifies that Pakistan has taken adequate action against the Haqqani Network.

"There are considerable risks for the US because Pakistan could retaliate in ways that would be very problematic for USA regional interests", he said, such as curtailing intelligence co-operation and USA supply lines into Afghanistan.

After the statement, Pakistan had called a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Tuesday which expressed "disappointment" over the statement, but said the country would not act in haste.

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Pakistan civilian and military chiefs rejected what they termed "incomprehensible" US comments and summoned US Ambassador David Hale to explain Trump's tweet. Incendiary rhetoric will be matched in kind, especially during an election year. "It is natural for us to enhance communication and exchanges", Geng said.

Furthermore, with Trump already being accused of stoking fires in the Middle East with his decision to move the us embassy to Jerusalem, the USA president will now be the convenient fall guy for any anomalous hike in violence around the perpetually volatile Af-Pak border.

"A balanced response is needed that would preserve the country's dignity while engaging with the U.S.", Sadiq said.

USA assistance to Pakistan, which rose sharply after the 9/11 attacks, has been declining since 2011 when American commandos killed Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan, straining relations. "But if the pressure tactics fail, stability in Afghanistan could worsen, and the USA war effort in Afghanistan will grow even more complicated than it already is", said Mr. Kugelman.

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Expect specific action on Pak. this week, says US