US 'Needs Pakistan, Won't Fully Cut Off Assistance' - Security Analyst

Pakistan's alliance with the United States seems to be coming towards an end following the latter's decision to suspend security aid, Minister of Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif told the Wall Street Journal in an interview late Saturday night. That will slow down, and that will mean I think more problems for both countries - for Pakistan and also for the United States in Afghanistan.

Not only has their quest for instability in Afghanistan been wildly successful, they've convinced America to foot much of the bill. Yet the Taliban and the Haqqani network, both designated terrorist organisations by America, enjoy safe havens in Pakistan. "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting".

Early Monday morning, President Trump lashed out at Pakistan, accusing the country of "lies & deceit" and of giving safe haven to terrorists.

As recently as October, Trump credited U.S.

Some regional analysts question whether the Trump administration has a plan for how to move forward, or if the decision to cut funding was a reaction to recent comments from Pakistan's foreign minister, who accused Trump on Wednesday of lying about how much aid the US gives Pakistan.

On January 1, posting his first tweet of 2018, Trump wrote: "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".

The calls to Capitol Hill came a day after Washington accused Pakistan of playing a "double game" on fighting terrorism and warned Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain USA aid. Since the Afghan people-who are now deeply, understandably hostile to Pakistan and favorable toward India-will never vote such a government into power, the next best outcome for Pakistan is to ensure the government and the country are divided and unstable. Just how much aid is to be suspended is not known precisely but it would all be military and no civilian aid is to be curtailed. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately".

Is the Trump administration right?

"Today we can confirm that we are suspending security assistance only to Pakistan at this time", State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert announced at a press briefing.

Haley insisted that "That game is not acceptable to this administration".

The US has been irked with the country since October when Pakistan had freed a Canadian-American family captured by militants. "We consider them to be destabilizing the region and also targeting USA personnel", Nauert said during a news briefing, according to Reuters.

Unfortunately, Pakistan's all-powerful military appears unable to escape a prison of perpetual denial. In a statement, he also advocated for Pakistan to shut down US access to air and ground routes. Opposition politician Imran Khan went one step further, calling on Pakistan to "immediately remove" USA diplomatic and intelligence personnel. "Pakistan is saying that the Haqqani no longer exist in Pakistan". Whether this leads our two countries toward a vicious cycle of hostility and recrimination is entirely dependent on Pakistan's behavior.

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