Amidst frustration on Pakistan's inaction against terrorist groups, Trumps cancels Aid

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U.S. officials believe that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency and other military bodies have long helped fund and arm the Taliban for ideological reasons, but also to counter rising Indian influence in Afghanistan.

The United States has suspended about $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, with the White House linking the decision to its frustration over Islamabad's reluctance to deny the Taliban and Haqqani network safe havens. At a background briefing in Washington on January 4, state department officials also stressed that the aid cut was reversible "if they undertake to take the measures that we've asked of them".

The US, she said, will not be delivering military equipment or transferring security related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law.

Indian government sources described the USA move as a "positive development" and said that other global powers, too, should reconsider aid and assistance to Pakistan. US aid agencies alone gave nearly $5 million to Pakistan in 2017, according to data from USAID.

Reacting to Trump move, Pakistan had earlier said, "We are engaged with the US Administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details", reported Times Now. But it could end up backfiring by diminishing the cooperation between the US and Pakistan to combat terror groups in the region.

Pakistan has become an unreliable ally.

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According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), US aid to Pakistan in the 2016 financial year was $1.1 billion, and $1.6 billion the year before.

On Thursday, the senator said, "I've been fighting to end Pakistani aid for years".

The decision to cut funding comes just several days after President Donald Trump tweeted his disappointment with Pakistan, claiming that the US got nothing but "lies and deceit" for the $33 billion in aid the USA gave Pakistan between 2002 and 2018.

The official added Trump has suspended the aid after no promising results were reported to him despite four months of high-level engagement with Pakistan. "What matters, I think, to the Pakistanis is the - is the symbolism of doing this, that it represents a deterioration of our relationship, something that they care about a great deal", said a senior administration official. He slammed Pakistan for only providing lies and deceit in reaction. "They have to take decisive steps", said Nauert.

After more than a decade of simmering USA anger at links between Islamabad and the Taliban and the Haqqani network-a Taliban affiliate-President Donald Trump is trying to draw a line in the sand. But, it did not lead to any tangible change in behaviour, besides piecemeal changes.

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