Pak begins blame game, claims India 'distracting' it from counter-terror efforts

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Pak begins blame game, claims India 'distracting' it from counter-terror efforts

Pakistan's move comes as the USA - now fighting its war on terror in Afghanistan - suspended military aid to Islamabad, accusing it of harboring terrorists who attack foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's decision to suspend military and intelligence cooperation with America came after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving nothing to the USA but "lies and deceit" and suspended about Dollars 2 billion in security aid to it, Pakistani media quoted Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan as saying.

Last week, Trump said that the United States had "foolishly" given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had gotten nothing in return but "lies & deceit".

He said Pakistan's support to the USA has been critical in dealing with the challenges of terrorism in the region.

Goldstein added the United States is "hopeful that Pakistan will come back to the table" and assist in US efforts to combat terrorism.

The foreign minister of Pakistan Khwajah Mohammad Asif has claimed that the intelligence nexus between Afghanistan and India is contributing to regional instability.

On Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said the United States had conveyed to Pakistan to take "concrete steps" against terror groups to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

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They were also briefed about the terrorist threat emanating from the safe havens and sanctuaries in Afghanistan, which is resulting in loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure in Pakistan.

And a former United States ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson warned that the aid suspension would fail to force Pakistan to accept USA demands, as did two major U.S. newspapers - The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Reports also suggested that the USA decision to block aid to Pakistan could affect about 2 billion US dollars worth of assistance. -Pakistani tensions following President Donald Trump's accusations that Pakistan was harboring militants and the withholding of American aid to Islamabad.

Islamabad had earlier showed restraint despite allegations by the USA 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.

Pakistani leaders also disagreed with Trump's notion about assistance to Pakistan and insisted that the money had been paid for the facilities Pakistan had provided to the U.S.to transport supplies to foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Khan added that the country would not allow any spillover of the prolonged armed conflict in Afghanistan on their territory, likely in reference to the USA military drone raids across the Pakistani border.

This is still a goodwill gesture by Pakistan at a time when the USA and its allies are still facing serious security challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan's security cooperation is vital to the US success in Afghanistan.

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