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If Pakistan decides to retaliate, some or all of these benefits could go away. Pakistan could stop sharing intelligence on terrorist groups with the US. It could seal off its bases. It could shut down supply routes, as it did in 2011 after the US attacked a Pakistani border post, killing 25 Pakistani soldiers, (They reopened supply routes after the US apologized in 2013.)
Experts say that if Pakistan shuts off this access, the alternative would likely involve using Central Asian countries north of Afghanistan and more aircraft to deliver supplies, which is far more expensive. “The alternative routes for US supplies into Afghanistan cost seven to eight times more,” Mosharraf Zaidi, a former adviser to Pakistan’s foreign minister from 2011 to 2013, told me. But it’s going to be very difficult to persuade Pakistan to change its behavior.
The Trump administration is not only freezing aid to Pakistan; it’s also threatening additional actions to pressure it to change its policies toward the Taliban and the Haqqani network. Analysts say those actions could take many forms, including expanding drone strikes against militant groups in Pakistan, imposing sanctions on Pakistani officials accused of having ties to terrorist networks, and designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terror. But, the US has a lot to lose if Pakistan decides to cut off its assistance.
However, the U.S. is only stopping the security aid, though the humanitarian assistance to Pakistan will continue. “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!” Trump posted on Twitter on Monday.
The announcement comes three days after President Donald Trump made a scathing remark against its ally in the war on terrorism and accused Pakistan of lying and deceiving while receiving billions in aid. Nauert, in her media briefing in Washington, also noted that: “No country has suffered more from terrorism than Pakistan. They understand that, but they still haven’t taken the necessary steps.” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the embargo would remain in place until Pakistan takes action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network. The United States announced that they were cutting off military aid to Pakistan, as it has not taken “necessary steps” to curb terrorism.
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