Pakistan decries 'arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements' as USA suspends military aid

US cuts security assistance to Pakistan, demands 'decisive action' against terrorists (video)

He said on Twitter, "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools". There are 20,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan.

A report in The Washington Post had indicated in December that a decision was imminent.

Frustration has been building on Capitol Hill for years, reflected in a steady decline of USA aid to Pakistan. An US inter-agency team had also gone to Pakistan in the fall of 2017 to continue these negotiations.

Addressing a fiery press conference outside his residence in Islamabad, Khan called the Pakistan government to expel some USA diplomatic personnel and cut off supply routes for the US-led coalition forces from the port city of Karachi to landlocked Afghanistan, as well as close its airspace to U.S. forces. He slammed Pakistan for only providing lies and deceit in reaction.

According to the State Department, the U.S. made the funding decision over concerns that Islamabad is providing a safe haven for the al-Qaeda and Taliban-allied Haqqani terrorist network, a former CIA-funded anti-Soviet guerrilla group which has engaged in plotting attacks on USA troops in neighboring Afghanistan in recent years.

"Pakistan has taken a very hard line, like the U.S., and they're replying to every allegation" made by Trump, the observer noted. -Pakistani cooperation for winning the release of an American woman, her Canadian husband and their children who had been held by Haqqani militants for five years. The amount appropriated in a certain year usually "expires" by September 30 of the next year. Tillerson gave directions at the time of its expiry to keep $255 million separately and "withhold placing any of those funds on actual contacts". Afghan officials have long accused Pakistan's powerful military and intelligence service of maintaining influence with the Taliban and the Haqqani network, responsible for many attacks on Afghan cities. Pentagon spokesperson Commander Patrick Evans said that the entire $900 million would be frozen.

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It is "approximately two billion worth of equipment and coalition support funding that is in play", the official said on condition of anonymity.

Currently, the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation depend on Pakistan for logistical support for their operations in Afghanistan, a key part of fighting terrorism.

Republican senator Bob Corker, who is also the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, supported the administration's decision. Citing the presidential tweet, Paul said, "I've been fighting to end Pakistani aid for years".

On the other hand, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said that they were continuing working relations with Pakistan, adding that aid would be restored to Pakistan if they made visible efforts regarding taking stern action against all terrorist outfits in its backyard. He said that doubting intent of Pakistan would affect joint efforts of peace and stability in the region.

USA officials claim that despite Pakistan's public bluster, Islamabad could take a more conciliatory position. "I don't think they will fully cut off the assistance, because they still want to work with Pakistan".

Pakistan's opposition, meanwhile, called for concrete actions to retaliate.

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