Pakistan fights anti-terror war from own resources: U.S. told

ISLAMABAD: In reaction to suspension of all U.S. security aid to Pakistan, the Foreign Office in Islamabad said on Friday that Pakistan has fought war against terrorism from its own resources.

The U.S. announced on Thursday that it is suspending the transfer of military equipment and security-related funds to Pakistan, according to the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert.

“We are engaged with the US Administration on the issue of security cooperation and await further details. Impact of US’ decision on pursuit of common objectives is also likely to emerge more clearly in due course of time. It, however, needs to be appreciated that Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said.

A statement said Pakistan is “determined to continue to do all it takes to secure the lives of our citizens and broader stability in the region.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday that Washington would withhold 255 million dollars in assistance to Pakistan from the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) fund, which is used to provide military equipment and training to a friendly country, according to reports.

The U.S. Congress has also taken away half of the 700 million US dollars set aside for reimbursing Pakistan for supporting US war efforts along the Pak-Afghan border, reports said. The suspension will now affect the remaining 350 million dollars in this account, known as the Coalition Support Fund, it said.

“Arbitrary deadlines, unilateral pronouncements and shifting goalposts are counterproductive in addressing common threats,” the Foreign Office said.

It said Pakistan believes that its cooperation with the U.S. in fighting terrorism has directly served US national security interests as well as the larger interests of international community.

“It has helped decimate Al-Qaeda and fight other groups who took advantage of ungoverned spaces, a long porous border and posed a common threat to peace. Through a series of major counter-terrorism operations Pakistan cleared all these areas resulting in elimination of organized terrorist presence leading to significant improvement in security in Pakistan,” the statement said.

The U.S. leaders claim that Pakistan is not taking action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, who are blamed for attacks on the US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Ministry said Pakistan’s efforts towards peace are awaiting reciprocal actions from the Afghan side in terms of clearance of vast stretches of ungoverned spaces on the Afghan side, bilateral border management, repatriation of Afghan Refugees, controlling poppy cultivation, drug trafficking and initiating Afghan-led and owned political reconciliation in Afghanistan.

“Working towards enduring peace requires mutual respect and trust along with patience and persistence,” the statement said, adding emergence of new and more deadly groups such as Islamic State in Afghanistan call for enhancing international cooperation.