Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Pakistan cautions U.S. about consequences of anti-Taliban offensive

Pakistan cautions U.S. about consequences of anti-Taliban offensive

Not that past US Presidents were, in Trump's description, "foolish".

"If it's not actually accomplishing anything, why are we doing it?" James Carafano, a defense policy expert at the Heritage Foundation who's close with the administration, said in commenting on Trump's decision to suspend aid to Pakistan.

Historically, the U.S. has provided Pakistan over $1 billion in security assistance annually.

Trump set the tone with his very first tweet of the New Year, which blasted the past aid given to Islamabad and its continued reticence to aggressively target terrorists.

The key element in the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan is to launch a two-pronged military offensive that inflicts a military defeat on the Taliban and forces them to join the Afghan reconciliation process on Kabul's conditions, diplomatic sources told Dawn News.

That's why, despite their strident tone, it's unclear whether Trump's tweets signal a real shift in US policy. According to a senior state department official, no decision has been taken on the fate of $255 million security assistance to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017.

"I just want to be clear that it's been suspended".

When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Pakistan of "harbor [ing] the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan", a Pakistani military spokesman noted that Haley is of Indian origin and that the "current misunderstanding between Pakistan and the created by India".

The administration portrayed Thursday's announcement as following through on the August speech.

President Trump slammed Pakistan on Monday for receiving more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years while giving Washington "nothing but lies and deceit", and accused Islamabad of harboring terrorists that United States troops were hunting in Afghanistan.

The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday.

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In September previous year, the USA suspended $255 million in funding to help Pakistan buy high-tech weaponry from American manufacturers. "They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel", he tweeted Tuesday.

"Pakistan has taken a very hard line, like the USA, and they're replying to every allegation" made by Trump, the observer noted.

Coming to his tweet, there is no historical precedent of an American president communicating what amounts to "made up on the fly" U.S. policy via social networking.

Trump and the administration have sought to portray their response to the demonstrations as in stark contrast to Obama, who was criticized for being slow to respond to the 2009 green movement protests.

Trump's tweets about North Korea have led to raised eyebrows around the world, and he outdid himself this week when he wrote on Twitter that his nuclear button was larger than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's. "They have to take decisive steps", she added.

"So I expect there will be more talks". So, this action should not come as a surprise to them, Nauert said.

Frustration has been building on Capitol Hill for years, reflected in a steady decline of USA aid to Pakistan. U.S. troops in Afghanistan are being supplied with food and military equipment by the routes from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Secondly, the U.S. has been a staunch ally of Pakistan despite the latter's systematic terror attacks on India including 26/11 in which even USA citizens were killed. There should not be any doubts when it comes to the defence of Pakistan, he had said.

But Carafano at Heritage said the actions were "not knee-jerk". He had called for tougher measures against Pakistan if it fails to cooperate with the United States in its fight against terrorism.

"Obviously he didn't plan the Iranian protests, but when the protests went out, it was, 'how can we leverage what's going on here to complement our existing policy, ' " Carafano said.

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