Pakistan can survive without taking financial assistance from US: Khawaja Asif

Pakistan can survive without taking financial assistance from US: Khawaja Asif

"We shall take all decisions in this regard taking into account our national interests", he said.

Islamabad has warned Donald Trump against endangering US-Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan, promising a "cold-blooded" response to Washington's aid cut. He noted that Pakistan and the USA were still allies, and the relationship between the two countries had gone through ups and downs. He reiterated that Pakistan will not compromise on its territorial integrity at any cost and that while the country is ready to resolve issues via bilateral means, it will not do so at the stake prestige.

At the same time, Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has welcomed Trump's critical remarks about Islamabad and its anti-terror policy.

A former top American diplomat - who served as the U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations - today suggested a series of steps against Pakistan including slapping sanctions against the spy agency ISI and unilateral strikes inside its territory to end Islamabad's double game.

Just three days after Trump's Tweet, the White House has confirmed suspending 255 million US dollars of military aid to Pakistan, according to local reports on Wednesday. Trump's uncalled-for criticism has sent shock waves amongst those who were encouraged by the trilateral meetings among Pakistan, Afghanistan and China where besides agreeing on other issues they also resolved to join hands to fight terror in the region.

Pakistani Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan returned criticism in a tweet noting that Islamabad "as anti-terror ally has given free to U.S.: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but [the United States has] given us nothing but invective & mistrust".

Pakistan has "contributed and sacrificed the most in fighting worldwide terrorism", alleged Lodhi, noting that Islamabad's role in the war against jihadist groups is not contingent upon US aid but, rather, "national interests and principles".

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Pakistan denies that it provides safe haven to terrorists, often pointing to the operation launched in 2014 to clear groups such as the Haqqani network from the Waziristan border region with Afghanistan.

The committee expressed "deep disappointment" over the US president's comments.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for the Pakistani Army, added that US aid to Pakistan has been "reimbursement for support Islamabad gave to the coalition for its fight against Al Qaeda".

"The president outlined a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia earlier this past year, in August".

On Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted again about Pakistan, but also lashed out similarly at Palestinians, saying: "It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others". But even if Pakistan did everything the US asked, it's highly uncertain this would yield stability in Afghanistan. "It has much to lose by continuing to harbour terrorists", he had stressed, adding that Trump has "put Pakistan on notice for providing safe haven" to the terrorists on its soil.

It accused the US of scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure to bring peace to Afghanistan.

Pakistan was not paid $300 million of $1 billion under CSF in 2015 and $350 million of $900 million in 2016 because the administration could not certify Pakistan and indeed taken decisive action against the outfit, which is at the heart of United States anger with Pakistan, described as "deceit" by the president recently.

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