Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Pakistan's suspension of defense, intelligence cooperation with U.S. backed by experts

Pakistan's suspension of defense, intelligence cooperation with U.S. backed by experts

Pakistan has suspended defence and intelligence cooperation with the U.S. amid growing tensions over Washington's suspension of military aid to Islamabad, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir has said.

The move comes a few days after President Donald Trump's allegation that the country has given United States "nothing but lies and deceit" and suspended security aid to Pakistan.

When asked to comment on Pakistan's reported move, U.S. under secretary of state Steve Goldstein said: "We're hopeful for future cooperation from Pakistan". We have not suspended them.

Manning said that the USA stands ready to "work together" with Pakistan, and that, "the U.S has conveyed to Pakistan specific and concrete steps that it could take toward these ends", adding, "We stand ready to work together with Pakistan to combat terrorist groups without distinction".

The U.S. announced last Thursday it would not deliver military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan, suspending the so-called Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Coalition Support Funds (CSF) but not civilian assistance to that country.

Under pressure from the United States, Pakistan on Wednesday played the victim card, claiming that India is "distracting" it from counter-terrorism efforts.

But statements from senior US officials indicate that despite these limitations, the administration is serious in its stance that Pakistan needs to change its behavior.

In his weekly briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said the two countries were in talks over matters of mutual interest, including security assistance, details of which can not be revealed to media just now.

The Pakistani response comes after USA president Donald Trump's statement on January 1, in which he accused Pakistan of being a "safe haven to the terrorists".

Reports also suggested that the USA decision to block aid to Pakistan could affect about 2 billion US dollars worth of assistance.

Public accusations by Trump and other US officials were not taken well in Pakistan and political watchers and senior media personnel have slammed the USA move.

Pakistan issued a statement on Friday that said, "We are engaged with the US Administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details".

"It must be appreciated that Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources, which has cost over $123 billion in 15 years", office of the spokesperson noted.

In a Sunday interview with CBS's Face the Nation, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said "the president has made very clear that he needs Pakistan to cease being a safe haven for terrorists that threaten the United States of America. End. But, everyone in the US knows from their hearts that the USA can not dump Pakistan's sacrifices for the so-called war against terrorism", Munir told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Pakistani leaders had shown restraint but the Defence Minister's statement could be seen as an indication of growing tension, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pakistan's defense minister had stated that Pakistan has not yet closed the air and ground networks of communication for the transportation of USA supplies to their troops in Afghanistan.

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