Trump's New Year resolution is getting under Pakistan's skin

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Days later, U.S. has put Pakistan on watch list for religious freedom violations and announced to suspend security assistance to Pakistan targeting Coalition Support Funds (CSF). These developments pushed Pakistan away from the U.S. war efforts in the neighbouring country and brought it closer to China.

Pakistan and America have continued the war of words in the last 24 hours, with the Americans now formally announcing that $900 million in security assistance will be suspended until they see the "do more" mantra actioned. But cutting funding to Pakistan will do little to advance US interests in the region, analysts note.

At least one influential Pakistani politician seems to be taking the Trump administration seriously.

But Pakistan quickly became an important military asset.

Sources in Washington DC told The Indian Express that the freeze was "temporary" and could be lifted if Pakistan "changed its ways".

In efforts to persuade Islamabad to abandon this nefarious "double game", the US government has deployed a constant stream of diplomatic and economic carrots-including $33 billion in aid and "reimbursements" since 2002-but virtually no sticks.

"It, however, needs to be appreciated that Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources, which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years".

On Thursday, the US announced it would halt an estimated $1 billion worth of aid, after President Donald Trump criticized Pakistan as providing a "safe haven" for terrorists while providing nothing but "lies and deceit". From $2.60 billion in 2013 to $1.60 billion in 2015, the request for aid appropriations and military reimbursements in 2018 fell to just $350 million. "That will have to change and that will change immediately". "Pakistan believes it has a very strong interest in maintaining ties to the likes of the Haqqani network and Afghan Taliban because they push back against India's influence in Afghanistan".

The Trump administration is rightly signaling to Islamabad that "business as usual" has come to an end. Tillerson gave directions at the time of its expiry to keep $255 million separately and "withhold placing any of those funds on actual contacts".

Relations between Islamabad and Washington have been strained for years over Islamabad's alleged support for Haqqani network militants, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban. "What matters, I think, to the Pakistanis is the - is the symbolism of doing this, that it represents a deterioration of our relationship, something that they care about a great deal", said a senior administration official. The US, he noted, wants "action against the Haqqani network". They note, too, that they've been victims of terrorist attacks.

President Donald Trump in an angry tweet on the New Year day had accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the United States but "lies and deceit" and providing "safe haven" to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion aid over the last 15 years.

On Jan. 3, Nawaz Sharif, who resigned as prime minister in July, implored Pakistanis to "appraise our actions" and "break this spell of self-deception".

There has been no official statement about the meeting, neither has there been any response from the Indian government on the U.S. announcement about suspension of military assistance to Pakistan.