US President Donald Trump speaking India language: Pakistan Foreign Minister

  • US President Donald Trump speaking India language: Pakistan Foreign Minister

US President Donald Trump speaking India language: Pakistan Foreign Minister

Trump blamed Pakistan for giving safe haven to the terrorists the United States hunts in Afghanistan in spite of receiving $33 Billion of United States aid in last 15 years.

Pakistani officials, who have interacted with USA officials on this issue, say that they too have the same ambition: ridding the region, particularly Afghanistan, of militants.

"Arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts are counterproductive in addressing common threats", the Foreign Office said in a statement in Islamabad earlier.

"The US behaviour is neither that of an ally nor of a friend", Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on television. "We do not intend to reprogram any funds at this time", a State Department official said.

Pakistan's opposition, meanwhile, called for concrete actions to retaliate.

"These (terror) sanctuaries really threaten stability in the region and they continue to fuel the overall terrorism problem that we're facing", he said.

The U.S. mission in Afghanistan is heavily reliant on supply corridors that run through Pakistan. "Perhaps no other country has suffered more from terrorism than Pakistan and many other countries in that part of the region", she said.

"The suspension is not a permanent cutoff at this time", pointed out the unnamed State official, adding: "Our hope, and I won't say our expectation, but our hope, is that Pakistan will understand our seriousness, that they appreciate the value of this relationship-which they clearly have indicated that they do, and I believe that they genuinely do-and that they will look at what additional they can do to try to address ... our requests".

Also on Friday, a senior Trump administration official told journalists in Washington that the suspension would cost Pakistan an estimated $2 billion in military funding and equipment during the current and next fiscal years. Speaking on US' wishes, the official said that Pakistan must take action against Taliban and the Haqqani network and also end the cross-border strikes in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is anxious about the influence of old rival India in Afghanistan, and at the same time has been battling a Pakistani Taliban insurgency that Pakistan says was largely fueled by its support for the us war on terrorism launched after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Security assistance funding impending deliveries will be frozen, but not cancelled, as we continue to hope Pakistan will take the decisive action against terrorist and militant groups that we seek. "They have to take decisive steps", she added. In 2011, Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, told a Senate committee that the Haqqani network was a "veritable arm" of the Pakistani security service.

Pakistan has long rejected accusations that it fails to tackle the militants battling the Kabul government and USA -led foreign forces in Afghanistan, from sanctuaries on its side of the border.

However, this deterioration does not come as a surprise to those paying attention to the decline in our bilateral relations. The foreign minister responded that his country had little trust in the United States as well.

Yesterday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had placed Pakistan on a special watch list for severe violations of religious freedom.

"For all the talk of how the US may finally be taking its pressure to a new level to get the results it wants, pushing harder could backfire in a big way", cautioned Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center, a Washington-based foreign policy think tank.

The official said the administration was developing "risk mitigation plans", but acknowledged that examination of a northern network of alternative routes used in the past was "still at a very broad level".

"We've sent Pakistan $33 billion since 2002". Pakistan could shut down American access at any moment, and some Pakistani officials are threatening to do just that'.

"The suspension is arguably more significant as a signal of Washington's discontent than as an act of financial deprivation", said Joshua T. White, an Asia analyst who was director of South Asian affairs at the National Security Council during the Obama years.

USA civilian assistance programmes in Pakistan are not included in the suspension and exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if they are "determined to be critical to national security interests", administration officials said.

Gowen reported from New Delhi.