Following Trump's tweet, China and Pakistan set for a tighter embrace

U.S. troops who died in Nangarhar province in 2017. Top Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas Sgt. Eric M. Houck. Bottom Sgt. William M. Bays Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge Staff Sgt. Aaron R. Butler Sgt. 1st Class

US President Donald Trump has supported the move by his party's Senator Rand Paul to bring a bill in the US Congress to end all financial assistance to Pakistan.

The State Department said the USA decision reflected the Trump administration's frustration that Islamabad has not done more against the two groups, which have long used sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in Afghanistan that have killed American, Afghan and other forces.

President Trump slammed Pakistan on Monday for receiving more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years while giving Washington "nothing but lies and deceit", and accused Islamabad of harboring terrorists that U.S. troops were hunting in Afghanistan. But it could end up backfiring by diminishing the cooperation between the USA and Pakistan to combat terror groups in the region.

"I just want to be clear that it's been suspended".

Trump had been keen to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan; therefore, he had only reluctantly agreed to increase their numbers under pressure from his generals. "They need all kinds of supplies, and they use the Pakistani land route, and also the air route [to deliver them]".

Some regional analysts question whether the Trump administration has a plan for how to move forward, or if the decision to cut funding was a reaction to recent comments from Pakistan's foreign minister, who accused Trump on Wednesday of lying about how much aid the US gives Pakistan.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said here on Friday that the country fights the war against terrorism on its own resources.

While Pakistanis reject the United States charge that they have allowed the Haqqani Network to maintain safe havens, they appear more eager to understand the USA plan to defeat the Taliban. "This kind of running your foreign policy through the media can not achieve much, and is going to alienate more and more allies", he suggested.

The Global Times article signalled that Pakistan would be justified in defining a new geopolitical calculus that covers China and Russian Federation. "If you listen to the Pakistani officials, they say that it won't mean much". The Pakistani minister of finance said that the American assistance is only one day's expenses for Pakistan. "We'll continue to coordinate this...this is going to take time".

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"That is the way it has been portrayed, but I think there will be some effect, [even if] not much".

The White House official has clearly disagreed that United States dumped Pakistan along with Pakistan's allegations of U.S. speaking India's language of India.

Pakistan is largely shrugging off the proposed US aid cuts but frets that Washington could take more drastic measures to deter what it sees as Pakistan's support for the Taliban.

"While Trump can tweet whatever he wants about Pakistan or Iran, the professionals on his staff know the truth: us policy in Afghanistan requires a port with road or rail access to Afghanistan", wrote Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown University. The US, he noted, wants "action against the Haqqani network".

"It is important to distinguish between Pakistani foreign policy in regards to Afghanistan, policy that is shaped by Pakistan's rivalry with India, and Pakistani domestic security policy aimed at Pakistan's Taliban groups", Harrison Akins, a Middle East security expert at the Howard Baker Center, told Newsweek. Another issue revolves around whether a political solution to the conflict exists, with Islamabad preferring that option while the USA is looking for a military solution.

Furthermore, one of the explanations Islamabad has been able to fall back on is the 2.7 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan for almost four decades now, and among whom terror groups such as al-Qaeda and Haqqani can easily hide and operate.

Afghan border police stand guard near the Torkham crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Nangarhar province on May 12, 2016.

"Unless we deal with the Pakistan sanctuary issue, it will undermine all of our other efforts in Afghanistan", the senior official said. So there are problems for Pakistan, and it has to put its own house in order. But I think to be frank, Pakistan can not help the United States to win the war in Afghanistan.

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