The White House’s recent decision to withhold $50 million in military aid to Pak for failing to do enough against the Haqqani network has triggered new debate in Pak over the country’s war against terrorism and its military’s dependence in recent years on US aid. Since the 2001 US invasion of Afghan, Pakistan’s military has received $30 billion in military assistance for helping crack down on groups that target international forces in Afghan. But US officials have long complained that Islamabad has fallen short in its fight against the Haqqani network, a US-designated terrorist group that many suspect has links to Pakistan’s spy agency. Some analysts say that withholding funds to pressure Islamabad is not effective. “I think this is not something new. US administrations have been using aid and coalition support funds’ disbursement as leverage against Pak for many years now. If this policy did not bring any results in the past, don’t expect any different results this time,” said Jahangir Khattak, a New York-based journalist. “Despite military aid cuts, Pakistan’s military establishments will not take sincere action against Haqqani network, the one (in which) Pakistan has invested hugely for many years. Although, Pakistan is concerned about Trump’s administration possible unilateral actions, such as stepping up drone attacks and special force operations, as it did on Osama bin Laden,” said Hashim Wahdatyar, an Afghan political expert who is based in Washington, DC.
Over a period of time Pakistan has become used to playing big powers taking full advantage of its Geo Strategic location. Recent curbs from Trump Administration has come as a big blow to its long term goal. It will gradually shift to Russia and China as a leverage against US embargo. It remains to be seen how much Pakistan succeeds in this game.