A day after the United States announced the suspension of all security aid to Pakistan, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Islamabad’s alliance with Washington is over.
“We do not have any alliance” with the US, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Friday.
“This is not how allies behave,” he added.
On Thursday, the administration of President Donald Trump had said that security assistance was on hold “until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network”.
The bilateral ties between the two former allies in the ‘war on terror’ has witnessed a dramatic decline in the recent past, specially after President Trump targeted Pakistan in a tweet last week, saying the country had given the US nothing but ‘lies and deceit’.
However, even before the highly provocative tweet, the two nations had rocky relations to say the least, lacking trust ever since the 9/11 attack in 2001.
The US accuses Pakistan of harbouring militants, who it claims kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, while Islamabad says Washington doesn’t adequately acknowledge Pakistan’s role in decimating al Qaeda or its sacrifice of thousands of lives after joining America’s ‘war on terror’.
Islamabad also sees the US growing ever closer to its archenemy India, with the Trump administration even inviting New Delhi to take a bigger role in Afghanistan – a move, experts say all but guaranteed Pakistan’s pullback from cooperating with the US effort there, wrote the WSJ.
The recent spat between the two countries could push Pakistan further into the arms of China and complicate America’s effort to end the Afghanistan war, its longest-running conflict. BMI Research, an economic-analysis firm based in London, said in a report on Friday that the US suspension of aid “will likely accelerate Pakistan’s geopolitical drift towards China”.