Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pakistan reacts to US aid cuts

Pakistani army troops

Source: Press TV

Pakistan has threatened to withdraw its forces from Afghan border in reaction to the US move to cut millions of dollars in aid to the Asian country.

"I think the next step is, the government or the armed forces will move the soldiers from the border areas," AFP quoted Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar as saying on Tuesday.

Mukhtar's remarks come two days after the US confirmed it had decided to cut $800 million out of Pakistan's annual $2.7 billion aid, adding fuel to fire to the countries' already strained relations.

Washington has demanded that Islamabad deploy more troops to the Afghan border to step up efforts in fighting against the Taliban militants on the tribal regions between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Part of the withheld aid to Pakistan was appropriated for covering Pakistan's costs of dispatching more than 100,000 troops along the Afghan border.

"We cannot afford to keep our military... it costs you extra amount of money when you are having soldiers in the mountains, so we will definitely use that tool," Pakistani defense minister said.

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