Pakistan to act 'accordingly' against United States drone strike

Pakistan to act 'accordingly' against United States drone strike

Pakistan to act 'accordingly' against United States drone strike

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

Thursday's announcement was in addition to the $255 million in foreign military assistance that the Trump administration in August said it was withholding, she said.

The Trump administration could be endangering the lives of USA troops in the Middle East with its decision to cut almost all American security aid to Pakistan, experts say.

"Until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani group - we consider them to be a destabilizing the region and targeting USA personnel - the United States will suspend that type of security assistance to Pakistan".

Initially vague information on how much money and materiel was being withheld suggested the primary goal was to substantiate President Donald Trump's surprising New Year's Day tweet that accused Pakistan of playing USA leaders for "fools".

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.

A senior Pakistan Army official said on Wednesday that no amount of coercion could dictate Pakistan on how to conduct its policies and affairs.

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. And now Pakistan is clearly bearing the brunt of this ignorance.

The decision, which was announced Thursday, is meant to pressure Pakistan to help US foreign policy priorities like clamping down on the Taliban in Afghanistan.

President Trump sent out morning tweets about Pakistan and Iran on New Year's Day and the move by the State Department appears to be an attempt to substantiate those

Pakistan has been frustrating successive administrations since 2001, when US troops ousted the Taliban regime in Afghanistan for providing a safe haven for Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader who masterminded the September 11 attacks on the U.S.

"We're hoping that Pakistan will see this as an incentive, not a punishment", he added. That $255 million is included in the suspended aid announced Thursday by Nauert.

A glance at USA budget figures suggest the amounts frozen could exceed $1 billion. For the success of covert operations launched by RAW-NDS combine backed by CIA, MI-6, Mossad and BND from Afghan and Iran soils in FATA and Baluchistan from 2003 onwards, Pakistan was subjected to a willful propaganda campaign to demonize and discredit it by painting it as the most risky country of the world. Pressure from the USA also resulted in a buildup of Pakistani military presence along the border with Afghanistan. "Pakistan's cooperation is not based on any consideration of aid but on our national interests and principles", Maleeha Lodh, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, said in response to Haley's comments.

"The Trump administration decision has abundantly vindicated India's stand as far as terror is concerned and as far as the role of Pakistan is concerned in perpetrating terrorism", according to minister of state in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh, NDTV reported on January 2, 2018.

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

Pakistan said the message was "completely incomprehensible" and at odds with the recent "trust-building" visits by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis. It accused the USA of scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure to bring peace to Afghanistan.

"It's north of $255 million", said one USA official.

Drone strikes have been a frequent tactic by the U.S forces since 2004 to target suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region, mainly North and South Waziristan, which border Afghanistan.

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