Pakistan should give balanced and strong response to Trump's statement: NA Speaker


"Today we can confirm that we are suspending. security assistance only to Pakistan at this time until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against groups including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network".

Relations between Pakistan and the U.S. have been tensed after Trump on Monday tweeted that the USA "foolishly" gave aid to Pakistan over the course of 15 years but Islamabad remained deceitful by providing safe havens to "terrorists" from Afghanistan.

Her announcement Thursday followed a statement earlier in the week by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the U.S. government was already withholding $255 million in aid because of Pakistan's supposed unreliability as a counterterrorism partner. On Thursday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that the United States was suspending the delivery of military equipment and security aid to Pakistan.

After the earlier comments by Mr Trump it called attacks on it by USA officials "incomprehensible" and said they "negated the decades of sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation".

Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the department, said at a press briefing that the US would freeze military equipment deliveries and transfers of security-related funds to Pakistan.

The US Government is cutting nearly all security aid to Pakistan, saying it has failed to deal with terrorist networks operating on its soil, the BBC News reported on Friday. The most extreme step the administration can take is to label Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, like Iran.

In an interview on Thursday with the Geo News channel, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that the United States was now neither a friend nor ally, but "a friend who always betrays". Though not specified in the statement, Pakistan has always been scrutinized by human rights organizations for giving insufficient attention to the persecution of religious minorities, including Shia Muslims, Christians, and Ahmadi Muslims.

The Pakistani government freed a Canadian-American family that was captured by militants, and captured one of the militants, a member of the Haqqani network, which is tied to the Taliban.

The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday.

"Trump is disappointed at the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan and that is the only reason he is flinging accusations at Pakistan", Asif told the Pakistani TV network Geo on Monday.

The editorial said: "Almost every military flight into Afghanistan goes through Pakistani airspace".

Diplomatically, Pakistan was not an isolated country, he said, rather it had good relations with many countries including China, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The official reaction issued by the Foreign Office was more measured than the angry reactions from some Pakistani leaders, including foreign minister Khawaja Asif, who has said the country could account for all the aid provided by the US. Pakistan has summoned the USA ambassador, an embassy spokesman said January 2, in a rare public rebuke after Donald Trump lashed out at Islamabad with threats to cut aid over "lies" about militancy.

"We can't continue to have a relationship that has business as usual with Pakistan", senior state department officials told journalists in Washington. According to a Pentagon report from August 2017, $255 million in military assistance would be withheld from Pakistan if it did not do more to quell the terror networks in the country. The relationship is complicated because nuclear-armed Pakistan is a key ally for some USA counter-terrorism operations, and militants have killed thousands of Pakistani civilians. "They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis". Beijing says Islamabad has made sacrifices and done a fabulous job in fighting terrorism.