January 08, 2018

US paper questions Trump’s decision to suspend security aid to Pakistan

NEW YORK: Leading US newspaper ‘The New York Times’ questioning US President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend security assistance to Pakistan has warned that Pakistan can shut down American access to Afghanistan at any moment.

In an editorial, the newspaper said almost every military flight into Afghanistan goes through Pakistani airspace while most supplies travel along Pakistani roads and rails. The editorial said that Pakistan could also ally more closely with China and be more hardline in its rivalry with India.

The article claims that Trump’s aggressive and very globally audible admonition seems to indicate that he does not have a proper strategy in his plans. President Trump’s bombast and the precipitous way the decision seems to have been made have led to doubts that Mr Trump has a serious plan for managing the ramifications of this move, the publication states.

The president is good at venting grievances as he demonstrated in his New Year’s Day tweet on the situation. The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years he wrote 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, says the article.

A decision to withdraw or limit support may alternatively suggest an opening into the further enhancement of Pakistan’s friendship with China, which is already investing in major new infrastructure projects and expanding its international leadership, the article states.

Almost every military flight into Afghanistan goes through Pakistani airspace. Most supplies travel along Pakistani roads and rails. Pakistan could shut down American access at any moment and some Pakistani officials are threatening to do just that. Indeed China could once again be the beneficiary of a Trump decision estranging the United States from longtime partners.

The New York Times said President Trump cannot afford to walk away from Pakistan which has often provided vital intelligence and has the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal. Amid heightened Pakistan US tensions, the newspaper urged President Donald Trump to explore more constructive cooperation with the South Asian country. It said in 2014 Pakistan’s army finally mounted a serious military campaign against the Pakistani Taliban and suffered many casualties.


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