Despite concerns, USA suspends 'security assistance' to Pakistan

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The State Department said the freeze would remain in place until Islamabad took action against the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban.Earlier this week, President Trump accused Pakistan of lying and deceiving the USA while receiving billions in aid.

The decision to cut down on almost all the security assistance came after President Donald Trump on Twitter accused Pakistan of providing "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan" and said that the country had "given us nothing but lies & deceit".

"The Taliban and Haqqani network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilize Afghanistan and attack USA and allied personnel,"U.S".

"You may recall they were of assistance to the USA government when it came to releasing the Coleman family, an American citizen from the United States late a year ago".

Pakistan on Friday responded to the United States suspension of more than $1 billion in security-related aid by saying "unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts" would be counter-productive for the war on terrorism.

A day after Trump's tweet, the State Bank of Pakistan announced it has taken steps to ensure the use of the yuan in bilateral trade and financing transactions.

Foreign minister Asif was more vocal in his response when he tweeted "History teaches us not to blindly trust the United States".

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Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi called Trump's criticism "incomprehensible".

Subsequently, US Vice President Mike Pence had, in a surprise visit to Afghanistan's Bagram airbase on Dec 22, warned that Trump has "put Pakistan on notice" in what was the harshest US warning to Islamabad since the beginning of the Afghan war over 16 years ago. Perhaps most recently, the USA demanded that Pakistan turn over a militant connected to the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, but Pakistan refused to do so.

"Trump is disappointed at the USA defeat in Afghanistan and that is the only reason he is flinging accusations at Pakistan", Asif told the Pakistani TV network Geo on Monday. "Through a series of major counter-terrorism operations Pakistan cleared all these areas resulting in elimination of organised terrorist presence leading to significant improvement in security in Pakistan", it said.

Officials confirmed that in September a year ago State had already suspended $255 million in funding to help Pakistan buy high-tech weaponry from USA manufacturers. CSF funds, which fall under Defense Department authority, are covered by the freeze, said Pentagon spokesman Commander Patrick Evans, saying Congress authorised up to US$900 million in such money for Pakistan for fiscal year 2017, which ended on Sept 30. On Monday, in his first tweet of 2018, Trump said Pakistan offers the USA nothing but "lies and deceit".

It's the sort of common-sense question most Americans would ask, but most professional diplomats and political types would say should never be contemplated: What exactly are we getting for this money?

"We have already told the USA that we will not do more, so Trump's "no more" does not hold any importance". "We have seen thousands of protesters take to the streets in Iran and they are protesting for better economic opportunity". It provides critical safe haven and sanctuary to the groups' leadership, advice on military and diplomatic issues, and assistance with fundraising.

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