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Trump could drive Pakistan towards 'full service' to China

06 January 2018

"We have contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting worldwide terrorism and carried out the largest counter-terrorism operation anywhere in the world", Lodhi had asserted.

The White House said it would likely announce actions to pressure Pakistan within days.

This did not escape Geng Shuang who, when asked, whether Trump's accusations would harm trilateral efforts among Pakistan, China and Afghanistan remarked that the three are closely linked not only geographically but also in terms of common interests and it is natural for them to enhance communication and exchanges.

A day after Trump's tweet, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley confirmed the White House is withholding $255 million aid for Pakistan and defended the US criticism of Islamabad, alleging it played a "double game" with the United States for years.

The military spokesperson was responding to the U.S. withholding aid worth $255 million to Pakistan following Trump's tweet, wherein the latter said the USA had foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in financial assistance over the past 15 years.

"We have already told the USA that we will not do more, so Trump's "no more" does not hold any importance", Asif said, adding that "Pakistan is ready to publicly provide every detail of the USA aid that it has received". Moreover, Osama bin Laden, the former leader of al-Qaeda terrorist organization (also banned in Russia), who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, was found and killed by United States forces in Pakistan in 2011.

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Of this, $8.2 billion was security-related, according to a paper tracking U.S. assistance to Pakistan by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a non-partisan body that works for United States congress. Earlier Thursday, Mattis said the policy on military aid to Pakistan was "still being formulated".

The White House has said it would announce specific actions against Pakistan this week to force it to crack down on terrorists on its soil, reflecting P resident Donald Trump's tough stance against the country over the issue.

At the State Department on Tuesday, spokesman Heather Nauert said Pakistan knows what it needs to do, including taking action against the Haqqani network and other militants.

The two countries, he added, maintain an "all-weather strategic partnership" and China intends to further deepen its cooperation with Pakistan in all fields.

Thousands of USA and its coalition forces in Afghanistan depend mostly on ground and air routes through Pakistan for supplies of ammunition and goods.

The withholding of the aid has been expected, particularly after Trump blasted Pakistan in a Monday tweet.

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It rejected as "completely incomprehensible" recent statements and articulation by the American leadership for contradicting "facts manifestly, struck with great insensitivities" at the trust between Pakistan and the USA built over generations. Incendiary rhetoric will be matched in kind, especially during an election year. He said Pakistan could fall back on Saudi Arabia and China for military supplies, but it still depends on the USA for certain types of high-end equipment.

As recently as October, Trump credited U.S.

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

He added that Pakistan considered US' enemies as its own time and again, and rendered services relentlessly.

Hussain added that Trump's comments demonstrate "U.S. frustration at not achieving any stability in Afghanistan after more than 16 years of conflict".

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Trump could drive Pakistan towards 'full service' to China