DAMASCUS, SYRIA (07:00 PM) – The government of Pakistan has decided to cease any and all military and intelligence cooperation with the United States of America, according to Pakistani defence minister Khurram Dastgir Khan.
During a speech at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Tuesday, Khan blasted the US for using Pakistan as a “scapegoat” for its own military failures in Afghanistan despite sinking billions of dollars into the conflict.
“We have suspended the full-scale cooperation of our defense ministries and intelligence departments. Pakistan does not want to put a price on its sacrifices but wants them to be recognized,” the Defence Minister said, referring to what many Pakistanis see as an insulting downplaying and ignoring by the US of Pakistan’s role in fighting terrorist organisations in its own country.
Khan furthermore added that Pakistan would not allow any spillover of the Afghan War on Pakistani territory, likely in reference to the US military drone programme and military raids across the Pakistani border.
The Pakistani response comes as a reaction to statements by US president Donald Trump on January 1, in which he accused the nation of being a “safe haven to the terrorists”. Trump subsequently also moved on to freeze much of the promised US financial aid to Pakistan, as well as security aid and planned deliveries of military equipment.
Islamabad has however stated that they do not need the US’ financial support, pointing out that the Pakistani war on terror has always mostly been fought with domestic Pakistani funds anyway.
This escalation in tensions between the two countries was however further aggravated when the Pentagon announced on Monday that it would not reimburse Pakistan for counterterrorism operations conducted on behalf of the US, which means an earlier promised repayment of 900 million US dollars from Washington to Islamabad was suddenly cancelled.