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Pakistan Army powerful without United States aid as well: ISPR DG

07 January 2018

Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Wilson Center's South Asia program, said suspension of US security assistance to Pakistan would not torpedo relations but it was a significant step backward. Through major counter-terrorism operations, Pakistan has cleared all these areas resulting in elimination of organised terrorist presence, the statement said.

"If the funding is cut, the Pakistanis will obviously retaliate by ceasing to cooperate with the U.S.", Dr. Zubair Iqbal, an economist focusing on Pakistan, told Newsweek.

The vague details suggested the primary goal was to substantiate President Donald Trump's surprising New Year's Day tweet that accused Pakistan of playing US leaders for 'fools'.

Mostregional analysts agree that the results of these programs have been mixed, generally because Pakistan has been willing to sacrifice US goals to pursue its own interests in relation to its regional enemy India.

Some regional analysts question whether the Trump administration has a plan for how to move forward, or if the decision to cut funding was a reaction to recent comments from Pakistan's foreign minister, who accused Trump on Wednesday of lying about how much aid the USA gives Pakistan. It includes the Dollars 255 million in FMF (foreign military funding) that was notified to Congress in August of previous year.

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United States administration said it is suspending security assistance to Pakistan targeting the CSF that the USA pays to Pakistan to reimburse it for its counter-terrorism operations.

"That is what approximately USD2 billion worth of equipment and the Coalition support funding that that is in play", the official said. Nothing's been reprogrammed. We're hopeful that we can lift the suspension and the aid would be able to go forward. I think you can assume that you know things that are in the U.S. national security, things that might be related to nuclear issues, end use monitoring of equipment.

It said that Pakistan believed that its cooperation with U.S. in fighting terrorism directly served United States national security interests as well as the larger interests of the global community.

Pakistan has become an unreliable ally.

The US has "a number of tools in its toolkit" and can "take unilateral" steps.

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The State Department's declaration signaled growing frustration over Pakistan's cooperation in fighting terrorist networks, but it was not immediately clear how much money and materiel was being withheld. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, however, said it will stayed engaged with Washington to address the threat of terrorism.

In a carefully-worded statement, Pakistan Foreign Office said, "We are engaged with the U.S. administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details".

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), US aid to Pakistan in the 2016 financial year was $1.1 billion, and $1.6 billion the year before. "But right now, we're frustrated and we want to indicate to Pakistan our seriousness about the issue of dealing with safe havens", the official said.

"The president has shown that he is willing to speak with clarity when he talks about Pakistan and our relationship", the official said.

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Pakistan Army powerful without United States aid as well: ISPR DG