Pakistan Suspends Military And Intelligence Cooperation With US: Defense Minister
In the wake of President Trump’s social media outburst last week alleging that Pakistan has given the U.S. “nothing but lies and deceit” and the suspension of $1.3 billion in financial aid. Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan declared that military and intelligence cooperation with the United States are suspended, while he addressed an audience at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Khan, who was speaking at a seminar titled: ‘Contours of Security Environment of Pakistan,’ said the U.S. is now facing defeat in Afghanistan after a +16-year war despite spending billions of dollars. With defeat imminent, he claims the U.S. is using Pakistan as a ‘scapegoat,’ rather than defending and securing the Pak-Afghan border.
“Pakistan does not want to put a price on its sacrifices but wants them to be recognised,” Khan added that Pakistan would not allow Afghanistan’s war to be fought on Pakistani soil
Military relations between Pakistan and the United States have stretched as far back as 1947. The Afghan-Pakistan Center of Excellence is a division of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), with military operations sometimes jointly focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s widely known, that CIA drone bases and U.S. military logistical operations for Afghanistan in the country.
Kahn emphasized, “a wide field of intelligence cooperation and defense cooperation have been suspended,” but added the supply lines for NATO troops in Afghanistan would remain open. There was little mention of the fate of CIA drone bases operating in the country.
Richard Snelsire, a U.S.Embassy spokesman said, according to VOA news, “we have not received any formal communication regarding a suspension.”
Khan stated, “you see the facilities that we have extended to them (Americans) are still in operation. We have not suspended them. But there is also a wide field of intelligence cooperation and defense cooperation which we have suspended.”
During the speech, Kahn criticized the U.S. for doing very little to fence the border with Afghanistan. The border stretches some 2,500 Km, where militants frequently take advantage of the open-border.
“It is convenient to blame Pakistan for cross-border terrorism whereas the US has not lifted a finger to help fence-up the border,” Khan was quoted as saying.
So far, 2018 has been nothing but a setback for Washington and Islamabad relations. President Trump kicked off the new year with a Twitter war pressuring Islamabad to “do more” to combat terrorism.
The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
The official twitter account of the Pakistan Ministry of Defense fired back saying they’ve offered valuable resources to the U.S. over the years but have received nothing but “invective and mistrust” in return.
Pak as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis.
— Pak Minister Defence (@PakMnstrDefence) January 1, 2018
In essence, America’s fading influence in Pakistan has gained significant momentum. In less than two weeks, President Trump and Washington have managed to collapse relations with Islamabad, resulting in a suspension of the Pakistani military and intelligence cooperation. This could jeopardize the war in Afghanistan, considering Pakistan holds vital assets for the fight against terrorism in the region. Nevertheless, as relations between both countries decline, Afghanistan is in real danger of becoming the new Vietnam, while Washington blames Pakistan for the +16-years of failure.