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Turbulence in Pak-US relationship is temporary, American general tells COAS

13 Janvier 2018

It seems the U.S. may influence the various multilateral agencies involving the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Asian Development Bank to close or limit their financial pledges to Pakistan.

In reply, Gen. Votel apprised COAS about the U.S. decision regarding Security Assistance and Coalition Support Fund, stressing that the USA values Pakistan s role towards war on terror and expected that the on-going turbulence remains a temporary phase.

The COAS reportedly told Gen Votel that Pakistan shall continue with its "sincere counterterrorism efforts" even without the financial support of the United States, as doing so is in line with Pakistan's national interests.

The Pakistani military said both Votel and an unnamed U.S. senator phoned Bajwa to discuss security cooperation "over the week". "When that withdrawal happens- and it will one day- Afghanistan could experience rampant destabilisation, and Pakistan will want to retain ties to the most powerful non-state actors in Afghanistan". Using non-state militant actors against its fearsome foe serves that objective. "So now it is the job of Pakistan to take seriously their commitment to us, and most importantly to the people of Pakistan who would most be hurt by this, by another terrorist - any terrorist activity, and come forward". Washington has for years demanded that Islamabad stop providing sanctuary and other support for the Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network.

He said the Taliban had influence in seven tribal agencies in Pakistan 's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), but the Pakistanis proved that they were determined [to eliminate terrorism]. The possibility that China will compensate to Pakistan for its loss of American aid is yet to be judged as the two countries are already involved in 56 billion dollars of a mega project China-Pakistan Economic Corridor the liabilities of Pakistan vis-à-vis China continue to increase.

It can compensate by tapping into its deep security partnerships with Saudi Arabia and China.

Since then, Washington confirmed it will withhold United States dollars 255 million in USA military aid to Pakistan. Consequently, the U.S. placed Pakistan on "Special Watch List" allegedly for violations of religious freedom and suspended at least United States $900 million in security assistance to Pakistan. Having spilled significant blood and treasure in Afghanistan, successive USA administrations have rightly expressed, privately and publicly, great frustration over Pakistan's protection of its proxy militants, including the Haqqanis.

The implication is that draconian measures could eventually bring Pakistan to its knees and cause it to capitulate to US demands. For Pakistan, the reality is that America uses Pakistan when it needs and abandons afterwards. It is the Pakistani military that controls Pakistan's national security strategy and determines the contours of the Venn Diagram.

Yet, if provoked by these draconian policies, an outraged Pakistan may be inclined to tighten rather than ease its embrace of militants.

Officials said the administration had frozen payments from the "coalition support fund" set aside to reimburse Pakistani spending on counter-terror operations, worth $900 million. In reality, because of its own interests, these are non-starters for Washington. He then declared that Pakistan would not receive any more of the U.S. aid.

He also recalled that the U.S. has only suspended the aid without reallocating the money.

Turbulence in Pak-US relationship is temporary, American general tells COAS