Pakistan has suspended defence and intelligence cooperation with the U.S. amid growing tensions over Washington's suspension of military aid to Islamabad, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir has said.
Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said the United States had conveyed to Pakistan "concrete steps" to take before the United States would resume hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, which was suspended after U.S. President Donald Trump said Pakistan had lied and deceived the United States while providing safe havens to terrorists fighting in Afghanistan.
He said that United States was busy playing the blame game against Pakistan rather than helping them secure the Pak-Afghan border.
The briefing comes as the U.S. in recent days stepped up efforts to put pressure on Pakistan to do more to combat terrorism.
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The foreign minister of Pakistan Khwajah Mohammad Asif has claimed that the intelligence nexus between Afghanistan and India is contributing to regional instability.
Defense experts think the USA allegations and halt to military aid have forced the Pakistani government to use its leverage as it has this option, in view of the growing US pressure and its use of the blame game.
"We shall not stop in our endeavors to root out terrorism, no matter what the cost", said Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a recent statement.
The already tense relations between the USA and Pakistan further deteriorated after Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on January 1, that Pakistan "gives safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help".
"Pakistani-Americans are patriotic and have served our nation in battle".
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Although it is still not clear how much aid has been stopped, Mr Olson said the decision could affect about $1.3 billion worth of annual aid. "Pakistan has greater leverage over us than many imagine", he wrote.
The US announced last week that it would not deliver military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan.
Islamabad had earlier showed restraint despite allegations by the US leaders and aid suspension but the defense minister's statement could be seen an indication that his country will be forced to make decision in its national interests.
The US has long alleged that Pakistan was "providing sanctuaries to the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network", which are blamed for attacks on the US-led foreign and Afghan forces. "Security funding and pending deliveries will be frozen, but not cancelled or reprogrammed at this time".
Pakistan issued a statement on Friday that said, "We are engaged with the US Administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details".
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