The US military has made a final decision to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Pakistan. Sputnik spoke with political commentator Imtiaz Gul to find out if this was justified and if this would impact security in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Is the US justified in withdrawing this aid from Pakistan, and what impact will it have?
Imtiaz Gul: I think in this case there is no justification whatsoever because this is the reimbursement that Pakistan has asked for, as part of the coalition support fund and these are the funds that the US basically provides in return for the deployment of the army operations that the US government itself requests. So these are the outstanding funds from the last year, whereas ever since Mr Trump became President, he started withholding the amount. Initially they said 500 million but now it is 300 million and it means that whatever leverage the US had on Pakistan is also gone.
Could Pakistan now forge a stronger alliance with China?
Imtiaz Gul: I think there is already a really strong growing synergy of action between China and Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Iran. All these countries somehow now act as an alliance regarding terrorism, Afghanistan. This is perhaps also a cause of worry for the United States, which had hoped to pressurise Pakistan into more submission into accepting the conditions that Washington imposes on other countries, but because of the Chinese support and the concurrence with the aforementioned countries, Pakistan has refused to bend according to the wishes of the US administration.