Pakistan will not accept any dictations from US: Sherry Rehman

Protests emerge in Pakistan against Donald Trump's decision to suspend over $1 billion military aid

Pakistan will not accept any dictations from US: Sherry Rehman

"We consider them to be destabilizing the region and also targeting USA personnel", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a regular news briefing.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert was unable to put a dollar sum on the funds that will be frozen, but said it was in addition to the $255 million in military aid it has already put on hold.

"Today we can confirm that we are suspending. security assistance only to Pakistan at this time until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against groups including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network".

The dramatic freeze in deliveries of military equipment and security funding comes after US President Donald Trump lambasted Pakistan for its alleged support for militant safe havens, including in a furious new year tweet.

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 USA gives Pakistan.

"The United States stands ready to work with Pakistan in combating all terrorists, without distinction", Nauert said.

At the same time, Nauert made it clear that the United States action has nothing to do with Pakistan not taking action against the Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed. But cutting funding to Pakistan will do little to advance USA interests in the region, analysts note.

Trump's first tweet of the year signaled his unhappiness over the impasse, and the country's top civilian and military leaders, in a brainstorming meeting Tuesday, said their sacrifices "could not be trivialized so heartlessly by pushing all of it behind a monetary value - and that, too, an imagined one".

Trump's frustrations are shared by some USA lawmakers, who accused Pakistan of playing a double game by allowing militant groups sanctuary - which Islamabad denies - despite promising to crack down on them.

Protests emerge in Pakistan against Donald Trump's decision to suspend over $1 billion military aid

"Aid cuts will not hurt us", Pakistan's finance ministry head Miftah Ismail told Reuters. I was asked for comments by IndiaTimesNow but got thoroughly disappointed by my curt reply that, 'Pakistan is quite used to ups and downs in its relationship with United States of America, but mercifully it has got out of the U.S. magic spell, and it no more yearns for US aid, and that it is now India's turn, which is in the tight embrace of USA, to face the music.

Pakistan says much of the money it received from the US came as reimbursement in coalition support for services the country provided in the war on terror. The $33 billion Trump referred to represents all US military and economic aid to Pakistan since 2002.

Pakistan was engaged with the USA administration on security cooperation and awaited further detail, it said.

The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday.

Earlier on Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson placed Pakistan on a "Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom".

The $255 million now being withheld is annual military aid that the United States still provides directly to Pakistan in return for fighting terrorism.

Prof. Lin believes if the US and its allies push their Indo- Pacific strategy to the extreme, China will surely carry out a plan with Pakistan to ensure the security of sea routes.

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

The US and others have long complained that Pakistan offered safe haven to the Afghan Taliban and their allies, the Haqqani Network, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

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