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U.S. suspends security aid to Pakistan over militant groups

05 January 2018

Civilian development and economic assistance to Pakistan is not affected.

Nauert told reporters that the suspension will remain in effect until Pakistan "takes decisive action" against groups, such as the Taliban, that are "destabilizing the region and targeting US personnel".

The decision was announced by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who said Pakistan needs to take "decisive action" when it comes to terror activities and how it plans to crack down on it.

She also said that some exceptions could be made if it was determined that portions of the frozen aid were "critical to national security interests".

In his first tweet of 2018, Trump said the U.S. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help.

South Asia expert Christine Fair of Georgetown University voiced concern that Pakistan might retaliate for the suspension by closing the highways from the port city of Karachi on which equipment is trucked to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the airspace through which supplies are flown to USA -led worldwide forces in landlocked Afghanistan.

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For the year 2018, as per USA government's foreign assistance website, about $344 million of United States aid has been stipulated for Pakistan. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately".

USA officials said two main categories of aid are affected: foreign military financing (FMF), which funds purchases of US military hardware, training and services, and coalition support funds (CSF), which reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations.

The military aid, known as foreign military financing, "promotes the development of Pakistan's long-term [counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism] capabilities and improves Pakistan's ability to participate in maritime security operations and counter-maritime piracy", according to the State Department.

Earlier this year the United States suspended a separate $255 million in so-called foreign military financing, which funds purchases of US military hardware, training and services.

According to a senior State Department official, no decision has been taken on the fate of Dollars 255 million security assistance to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017.

Significantly, the report quoted a Washington Times report that China is in talks with Pakistan to build its second overseas military base as part of a push for greater maritime capabilities along strategic sea routes. In the 1990s, Washington imposed aid-cutting sanctions related to Pakistan's nuclear program and a military coup that deposed an elected prime minister.

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Since 2002, US aid to Pakistan has totaled almost $34 billion but declined in recent years, according to the Congressional Research Service.

A glance at USA budget figures suggest the amounts frozen could exceed $1 billion.

The U.S. State Department announced the decision, saying it reflected the Trump administration's frustration that Pakistan has not done more against the two groups, which have long used sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan that have killed U.S., Afghan and other forces. It accused the USA of scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure to bring peace to Afghanistan. Officials say the country has made enormous sacrifices to support the USA war on terror.

"In terms of specific actions, I think you'll see some more details come out on that in the next 24 to 48 hours", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had told reporters on Tuesday, adding, "They can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that".

"We can review our cooperation if it is not appreciated".

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U.S. suspends security aid to Pakistan over militant groups