Pakistan slams US' suspension of $1.2 bn aid, says 'unilateral pronouncement counterproductive' in combatting terror

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday reacted sharply to the US' decision to suspend over $1 billion security aid to it for failing to rein in terror groups, saying "arbitrary deadlines and unilateral pronouncements" are "counterproductive" in addressing common threats.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert at a news briefing in Washington announced the US move to cut off aid, days after President Donald Trump made an scathing attack on Pakistan for giving nothing to America but "lies and deceit" in return for $ 33 billion aid and accused Islamabad of providing "safe haven" to terrorists.

In a carefully-worded statement, Pakistan Foreign Office said, "We are engaged with the US administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details. Impact of the US' decision on pursuit of common objectives is also likely to emerge more clearly in due course of time".

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

At the same time, the statement made it clear that "arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts are counterproductive in addressing common threats".

The announcement by the US led to some protests in the country, including in Chaman, one of the two main crossings on the border with Afghanistan where people chanted anti-US slogans.

Pakistan, it said, believes that its cooperation with the US in fighting terrorism directly serves America's national security interests as well as the larger interests of international community, as it helped decimate Al-Qaeda and fight other groups who took advantage of ungoverned spaces, a long porous border and posed a common threat to peace.

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, the statement said.

"Pakistan's efforts towards peace are awaiting reciprocal actions from the Afghan side in terms of clearance of vast stretches of ungoverned spaces on that side, bilateral border management, repatriation of Afghan refugees, controlling poppy cultivation, drug trafficking and initiating Afghan-led and owned political reconciliation in Afghanistan," it said.

The foreign office also said that working towards enduring peace requires mutual respect and trust along with patience and persistence.

Highlighting the new threat of Daesh (Islamic State), Pakistan said "emergence of new and more deadly groups such as Daesh in Afghanistan call for enhancing international cooperation."

Asserting that Pakistan fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years, the foreign office said, "We are determined to continue to do all it takes to secure the lives of our citizens and broader stability in the region".

Updated Date: Jan 05, 2018 19:28 PM

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