Pakistan may block US Troops' supply path to Afghanistan

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A day earlier, Mattis, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, said he was not concerned about America's ability to use Pakistan as a gateway to resupply United States forces in Afghanistan.

They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help.

Lodhi said this in response to Haley's comments during a news conference, wherein the U.S. envoy repeated Trump's allegations that Pakistan had played a double game in its counterterrorism operations.

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.

The official reaction issued by the Foreign Office was more measured than the angry reactions from some Pakistani leaders, including foreign minister Khawaja Asif, who has said the country could account for all the aid provided by the US.

Pakistan denies supporting militants, pointing to its own war against extremist groups battling to overthrow the government. At the time, he said the United States "can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond".

To a question, he said China, Turkey and Russian Federation besides other countries had acknowledged Pakistan's efforts in war against terrorism.

- Why hasn't Washington axed aid before?

Just five years ago, Pakistan received almost $3.5 billion in US aid. Given fears Pakistan is being duplicitous, cutting the money off seems an obvious step. But yet it was a country that harbored Osama bin Laden.

The Trump administration's strategy for ending the war in Afghanistan and defeating terror groups in the region faces its first major test in its confrontation with Pakistan.

Pakistan had earlier called Mr Trump's tweet "completely incomprehensible" and at odds with recent "trust-building" visits by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Mr Mattis. Pakistan denied the US access to the man.

Pakistan's intelligence service, ISI, has long had close ties to the Taliban.

Pakistan also holds the Muslim world's only known nuclear arsenal and the U.S. wants to prevent it from going to war with rival nuclear power India, or collapsing and allowing the weapons to fall into the hands of extremists.

She also explained what the suspension entails and said that the U.S. will not be providing military equipment to Islamabad unless required there is a legal requirement.

- Will the USA strategy work?

A senior Pakistan Army official said on Wednesday that no amount of coercion could dictate Pakistan on how to conduct its policies and affairs.

But Washington has only just begun to work through its new plan to suspend up to roughly $2 billion in USA security assistance, announced on Thursday.

The over $ 50-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor - a key artery of Beijing's Belt and Road project - connects China's Kashgar with Pakistan Gwadar.

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