Pakistan Says Alliance With US Is Over

Pakistan Says Alliance With US Is Over

"If something were to happen to the ground lines of communication or air lines of communication through Pakistan, certainly that would be very hard for the U.S. and we would have to look for alternatives", the official said.

On Monday, he tweeted that the United States had "foolishly" given Pakistan more than US$33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had gotten nothing in return but "lies and deceit".

Earlier, this year, the United States also suspended Dollars 255 million military aid to Pakistan expressing the same concern of terrorism and for delayed action in destabilising Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani militant groups.

President Donald Trump's administration has expressed deep frustration at its South Asian ally's failure to crack down on the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani group bases. They held Pakistan responsible for engaging in a double game by offering sanctuary to militant groups and then denial by Islamabad after a crack down on them.

"We hope to renew and deepen our bilateral security relationship when Pakistan demonstrates willingness to aggressively confront Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network, and others who operate from its territory", Nauert said.

Pakistan once was a firm US ally, but relations with Washington have suffered a series of setbacks in recent years.

Pakistan's support for these groups must end, Washington insists.

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Pakistan has had deep ties to the Taliban for years.

A day earlier, Mattis, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, said he was not concerned about America's ability to use Pakistan as a gateway to resupply U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The political standoff with Pakistan comes in the wake of a push by the administration to get Pakistan's cooperation as part of its southwest Asia strategy launched previous year. Earlier Thursday, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the policy on military aid was "still being formulated". Opposition leader Imran Khan, a former cricket star tipped as the next prime minister, said Pakistan should "delink" from the United States and run down the American diplomatic and intelligence presence in what is a sensitive strategic area.

To a question, he said China, Turkey and Russian Federation besides other countries had acknowledged Pakistan's efforts in war against terrorism.

With American and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops scheduled to depart Afghanistan next year, the relationship between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan has become more important than ever.

It's not clear the threat to cut off funding will be enough to influence Pakistan.

But some USA analysts warn that a downgrading of US assistance may drive Islamabad toward a military alliance with China, which is reportedly planning to construct its second overseas military base in Pakistan. It is not good news for the Pakistanis if the United States is withholding aid and calling it out for dragging its feet on terrorism.

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