Pakistan won't seek United States aid resumption: Army Chief Bajwa

14 January, 2018, 00:48 | Author: Diane Mills
  • 'Betrayed' Pakistan army chief won't ask for further US aid

The statement came after Trump froze up to $1.9 billion in funding to Pakistan, in a move created to force its military and intelligence apparatus to halt its support for the Afghan Taliban and other Islamist groups. But a Pakistani official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the government had breathed "a sigh of relief" as their USA counterparts played down Trump's comments.

On Friday, the Pakistan Army disclosed that the U.S. has assured Pakistan that no unilateral action on its territory is being planned despite the suspension of military aid and a flurry of hostile statements.

Army Chief, General Qamar Bajwa has said that Pakistan wouldn't ask for restoration of the financial assistance suspended by the United States and will continue its whole-hearted efforts against militancy and terrorism even without U.S. financial support in accordance with our own national interest.

It merits mentioning here that ties between Pakistan and the United States worsened after Trump on January 1, in his first tweet of 2018, said that Washington has got nothing but "lies and deceit" from Pakistan despite providing it more than $33 billion in aid since 2002.

The army chief was contacted by Centcom Commander Gen Joseph Votel last week and an unnamed Senator to defuse tensions after Trump's New Year Day hostile tweet accusing Pakistan of lying and being deceitful towards the US.

It also ignited speculation that the U.S. could resume drone strikes or launch operations along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, where militant groups once operated with impunity.

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Votel also told Bajwa the "US is not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan", it continued. He will not seek further funding.

"We value mutual understanding of interests and concerns that we need to consider that might lead to a positive path forward", Thomas told AFP.

Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said the return of the refugees is prerequisite in a bid to help the Pakistani forces deny safe havens to the Afghan militants.

This gave rise to a growing choir of voices in Pakistan who are urging the government to suspend the US' transit rights through their territory en route to Afghanistan, effectively dealing a major blow to Trump's mini-surge there, while others have said that Islamabad should massively raise its transit fees instead in order to recoup its losses.

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.



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