U.S. suspends security assistance to Pakistan over claims country is 'harbouring terrorists'

Mattis pledges anti-terrorism partnership with Pakistan intact as US cuts aid to the country

Freeze to hit Pak military assistance

The foreign minister briefed the session, and said the United States administration neglected facts regarding Pakistan.

Pakistan is a crucial gateway for USA military supplies destined for US and other troops fighting a 16-year-old war in neighboring, landlocked Afghanistan.

Ghafoor said the USA had only reimbursed the expenditure which Pakistan had incurred while supporting coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Tense ties between the uneasy allies nosedived on January 1 when U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter against Islamabad's "lies and deceit" despite US$33 billion in aid and the White House warned of "specific actions" to pressure Pakistan.

Putting pressure on Pakistan's government to change its policies toward neighboring Afghanistan is central to the Trump administration's strategy, announced in August, to stabilize the region and bring an end to America's longest war, now in its 17th year.

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Ms Nauert said the latest measure would also suspend other security assistance, but did not specify what that covered, saying it was administered by the Defence Department.

"The question is will America create a situation which will harm Pakistan.We are ready for this but still want to engage the United States", he shared.

AFZAL: Pakistan has sort of this narrative of betrayal by the U.S. and abandonment by the U.S. And the current rhetoric that's coming out of the administration is only feeding into that narrative.

USA officials have argued Pakistan's leniency on certain terror groups has fueled the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Pakistan denies supporting Afghan Taliban, pointing to its own war against extremist groups battling to overthrow the government. The statement further added that during visits by USA officials, it was made a decision to move forward with mutual trust and cooperation, which would also lead to stability in Afghanistan.

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He also said, "The rest of the world failed in Afghanistan to control terrorists who today attack Pakistan across the border. 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", it said.

"I'm not concerned, no", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, adding he had not gotten any indication from Pakistan that it might cut off those routes.

The United States has also said some of the frozen aid could be released on a case-by-case basis, and none of it will be spent elsewhere - leaving the door open to full reconciliation.

The newspaper added that the move could be used in response to the diplomatic steps taken by the United States.

Diplomatically, Pakistan was not an isolated country, he said, rather it had good relations with many countries including China, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

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"And it would not be easy".

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