Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Pakistan will not accept any dictations from US: Sherry Rehman

The writer is a development anthropologist. He teaches at George Washington University The writer is a development anthropologist. He teaches at George Washington University
Andrew Cummings | 05 January, 2018, 13:40

"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".

On Thursday the administration said it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan, including $255 million in military aid this year.

The freeze covers most of the security aid to Pakistan and it follows the withholding of $255 million in military aid to Islamabad that was announced earlier. None of the $900 million as so far been disbursed, the Pentagon said.

It's not clear the threat to cut off funding will be enough to influence Pakistan.

Responding to a question regarding the United States drone attacks in Pakistan, Ghafoor said the country would respond to such acts according to the aspiration of its people.

Three days ago, Trump complained on Twitter that Pakistan had "given us nothing but lies and deceit" and accused it of providing "safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan".

Mr Trump unveiled a new strategy in August, aimed at ending the stalemate in the war in Afghanistan, which has been raging for 17 years.

Referring to Trumps new strategy, Nauert said despite a sustained high-level engagement by Trump administration with the government of Pakistan, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilise Afghanistan and also attack the United States and allied personnel.

However, Heather Nauert maintained that the suspension was imposed on temporary basis as the United States wants Pakistan to fulfill its obligations and initiate a decisive action against all terrorist groups including Haqqani Network.

Packers to sign Mike McCarthy to 1-year extension
McCarthy is now signed through the 2019 season after he was initially expected to enter next year without an extension. The Packers announced Tuesday that the team is transitioning Thompson from General Manager into an advisory role.

Supermoons, meteor shower to light up the sky this January
It will appear slightly bigger than a normal full moon, and it might appear to be significantly brighter than a full moon. The eclipse will start around 4:50 a.m. local time and will be partial about an hour later, making the moon appear red.

ConCourt to rule on Zuma impeachment case on Friday
The court told Parliament it has 120 days to make rules on how it would impeach a president under Section 89 of the Constitution. The parties sought an order declaring that Mbete failed to put in place all appropriate mechanisms to hold Zuma accountable.

Civilian development and economic assistance to Pakistan is not affected.

On Thursday, the Trump administration notched up its criticism of Pakistan when the State Department included Pakistan on a list of countries that violate religious freedoms. The step does not carry any serious consequences.

Prof. Lin believes if the USA 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.

"Our hope is that they will see this as a further indication of this administration's huge frustration with the trajectory of our relationship and that they need to be serious about taking the steps we have asked in order to put it on more solid footing", a senior State Department official told reporters. Officials say the country has made enormous sacrifices to support the US war on terror.

"Japan has firmly supported the efforts of the government of Pakistan and its people standing against terrorism", he said, adding Japan would continue to work with Pakistan with an emphasis on cooperation in the field of counterterrorism. "A lot of that is under DoD (Department of Defence), so I just won't have the details about that". Pressure from the USA also resulted in a buildup of Pakistani military presence along the border with Afghanistan.

These are meant to reimburse Pakistan for its "operational and logistical support of USA -led counterterrorism operations" in the region, the CRS notes. The CSF funds also compensate Pakistan for allowing the US-led coalition forces access its airfields and ports to provide supplies and logistics in their deployment in Afghanistan.

The uneasy U.S. -Pakistan relationship has been on a downward spiral since the 2011 U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad. Pakistan has increasingly turned for economic support to northern neighbor China, which is investing tens of billions in transportation links and power generation as it extends its strategic footprint across Asia.

The aid suspension will include equipment and the transfer of security-related funds, with possible exceptions for USA national security reasons. He said Pakistan could fall back on Saudi Arabia and China for military supplies, but it still depends on the US for certain types of high-end equipment.

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