Pakistan criticises ‘wrong’ US aid freeze | Pakistan Today

Pakistan criticises ‘wrong’ US aid freeze

Pakistan on Thursday came down hard on the United States for freezing $700 million in aid to Islamabad and said that the US Congress’ move was not based on facts and hence wrong conclusions were unavoidable.
“We believe that the move in the US Congress is not based on facts and takes a narrow vision of the overall situation and hence wrong conclusions are unavoidable,” Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters at his weekly press briefing. He also said once again that Pakistan’s sovereignty was not negotiable. The bill would freeze the aid and link its resumption to assurances that Islamabad will take steps to thwart militants who use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan. As the House of Representatives passed the bill, Robin Raphael, adviser to Special American Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman, called on Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar here at the Foreign Office on Thursday. Raphael was accompanied by US Ambassador Cameron Munter.
“The foreign minister told the US officials that the fresh move in the US Congress to freeze aid to Pakistan would lead to further worsening of ties between Islamabad and Washington and it would have been prudent if such a step were avoided,” said a Pakistani diplomat privy to the meeting. Basit said: “As you know, we are in the process of reviewing our terms of engagement with US, NATO and ISAF in their entirety. The issue of Pakistan’s sovereignty, let me emphasise the issue of Pakistan’s sovereignty, is non- negotiable.” Answering a query on US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s statement that Pakistan must stop infiltration of militants into Afghanistan, he said: “Pakistan has deployed 160,000 of its troops and established over 900 checkposts along the Pakistan-Afghanistan international border. To another question that Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Wajid Shamsul Hassan had been reluctant in appearing before the Abbottabad Commission, he said: “I think you should better put this question to the high commissioner but we have not detected any reluctance on his part. I would not know exactly when he is required to appear before the Abbottabad Commission. So, let us
wait and see.”
He also termed “ridiculous” Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz’s claims that ISI chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha sought support from Arab leaders to oust President Asif Ali Zardari.

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