An angry Pakistan on Thursday slammed a U.S. move to freeze aid worth $700 million, saying it was “not based on facts and takes a narrow vision of the overall situation”, in the latest sign of the fraying bilateral ties.
“We believe that the move in the U.S. Congress is not based on facts and takes a narrow vision of the overall situation,” said Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit.
In response to questions at a weekly news briefing, he said that “wrong conclusions are unavoidable” because of the approach adopted by the U.S.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to freeze aid worth $700 million and the Senate is expected to vote on the measure this week.
The bill will freeze the aid pending assurances that Pakistan has taken steps to thwart militants who use improvised explosive devices against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.
If the legislation becomes law, the U.S. will work with the Pakistan government to see how it can fulfil the requirements, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes to neighbouring Afghanistan and forced U.S. personnel to leave Shamsi air base, reportedly used by CIA-operated drones, after a NATO air strike killed 24 soldiers on November 26.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has ordered the framing of “new terms of engagement” for the U.S., NATO and ISAF.
Mr. Basit said an envoys' conference held during December 12-13 to frame recommendations for the new terms of engagement had discussed the possible impact of cutting off of U.S. and foreign aid.