War on terror fought with Pakistan’s own resources, says FO after US aid cut

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office said that Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism large from its own resources and it has cost the country $120 billion over 15 years.

“Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years,” said the statement released by the FO.

The US announced earlier that it was withholding $255 million in aid to Islamabad, accusing Pakistan of failing to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism.
The announcement came after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing but lies and deceit, thinking US leaders to be fools.

The US Defense Department has been instructed to stop making payments from “coalition support funds” set aside to refund Pakistani spending on counter-terrorist operations.

However, there will be exemptions, and officials refused to put a figure on how much Pakistan will lose out on if it fails to cooperate.

But the National Defense Authorization Act permits the US military to spend up to $900 million in the 2017 financial year and $700 million in financial 2018.

The statement by the FO added that the country is determined to continue to do all it takes to secure the lives of its citizens and broader stability in the region.

FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal

“We are engaged with the United States administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details.”

The FO further said that the impact of the decision on pursuit of common objectives taken by the US will likely emerge in due course of time and added that the cooperation between the two countries in fighting terrorism has directly served “US national security interests as well as the larger interests of the international community”.

It has 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, added the FO in its statemennt.

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.
“Our efforts towards peace are awaiting reciprocal actions from the Afghan side in terms of clearance of vast stretches of ungoverned spaces, bilateral border management, repatriation of Afghan refugees, controlling poppy cultivation, drug trafficking and initiating Afghan-led and owned political reconciliation in Afghanistan,” the statement adds.
Working towards enduring peace requires mutual respect and trust along with patience and persistence. Emergence of new and more deadly groups such as Daesh in Afghanistan call for enhancing international cooperation. Arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts are counterproductive in addressing common threats.

US cuts military aid

The US on Friday announced that it is suspending the transfer of military equipment and security-related funds to Pakistan.
“Today we can confirm that we are suspending security assistance only to Pakistan at this time,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert announced at a press briefing.
The spokesperson added that Pakistan could receive the suspended funding if it takes decisive actions against Haqqani Network and Afghan Taliban.

The suspension of security assistance to Islamabad comes after Washington accused Pakistan of playing a “double game” on fighting terrorism and warned Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain US aid.

In a tweet on January 1, Trump claimed that the United States had foolishly given Pakistan over $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.
In his tweet, the US president accused Pakistan of thinking US leaders to be fools. “They give safe havens to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, in a reply to the US president’s tweet, said Pakistan will let the world know the truth and will be responding to Trump’s tweet.