Thursday, November 15, 2018

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When will America stop participating in Yemen's genocidal war?

By Mark Weisbrot
 Sooner or later, the Trump administration will be forced to withdraw from this war. But how many people will die before it happens?

On Wednesday the Republican leadership briefly transformed the US House of Representatives into a theater of the absurd in order to block a debate and vote on US military participation in a genocidal war.
In an odd spectacle, representatives went back and forth between speaking about wolves, who kill other animals, to the Saudi monarchy, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people – mostly civilians including children – and pushed 14 million people to the brink of starvation.
The Republicans had hijacked the “Manage our Wolves Act” – a bad but unrelated piece of legislation – to pass a rule that would prohibit the House from debating H Res 138, introduced by Ro Khanna, a Democratic representative from California. The latter resolution would give the president 30 days to get the US military out of the war in Yemen.
The Republicans won by a vote of 201-187. But the Democrats could have easily defeated this surprise attack with some of the 17 members of their party who didn’t vote and the 6 who voted with the Republicans.
Most Americans have heard nothing of this ongoing clash in Congress, which has lasted for more than a year, and is probably the most important foreign policy action that Congress has launched since it cut off funding for the Vietnam war.
What the Republicans did on Wednesday was illegal and unconstitutional. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, Khanna’s resolution must be allowed a debate and vote.
The War Powers Resolution was a response to the prolonged tragedy of the Vietnam war. It reaffirms that under the constitution the president does not have authority to use offensive military force without specific authorization from Congress. And it establishes procedures to help Congress prevent and end unauthorized wars. One of these procedures is that when the president introduces US armed forces into hostilities without authorization, any member of Congress can demand a debate and vote on that military intervention, and it cannot be blocked procedurally.
The 1973 War Powers Resolution is still the law of the land, and the courts have not overturned any part of it. There are officials in the “national security state” who believe that the president can decide without Congress to participate in a war. But that is not the law, or is it consistent with the US Constitution – even if some prior presidents have claimed this power.
Two Republican representatives who supported H Res 138 cited James Madison in a letter to their colleagues on Wednesday: “In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”
In the 20th century the most important checks on US military overreach came from Congress. In addition to the historic 1973 War Powers Resolution, the Congress cut off funds for US military intervention in Angola in 1976. In the mid-1980s the Congress cut US aid to the Contras who were waging a war to topple the government of Nicaragua; this led to the Iran-Contra scandal, after the Reagan White House decided to continue funding the war through illegal weapons sales to Iran.
Following the Saudi murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, more people have begun to see that ending US military participation in this war and complicity in war crimes – which include using mass starvation as weapon – is the most urgent priority in the “re-evalutation of our relationship with the Saudis.”
Fortunately, this battle in Congress is far from over, and the proponents of war are losing. In the Senate, Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee, are re-introducing a similar resolution that got 44 votes in February. If that vote were held today, it would likely pass.
The Trump administration knows this, and so the White House announcedlast Friday that it would stop refueling the Saudi and UAE bombers in mid-air. It hasn’t happened yet, and of course any suspension of re-fueling not ordered by Congress could simply be resumed. Congressional sources believe that Trump may do something just before the Senate vote in order to try to pull a few Senators away from voting to end the war.
In addition, even if mid-air refueling is suspended, without congressional prohibition on all offensive US military activities, the US can continue its engagement in logistics, special operations, and targeting assistance – all of it concealed from view of American public.
The new House in January, with a Democratic majority and solid supportfrom the leadership, should have no trouble passing the resolution. But the human costs of delay are enormous. Experts have pointed out that once a famine breaks out it will be too late to save many of the victims.
Sooner or later, the Trump administration will be forced to withdraw from this genocidal war. The only question is how many people will die before it happens.

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John Kerry: US 'cannot afford truculent child president'

Patrick Wintour
Former US secretary of state criticises Trump’s failure to attend Armistice Day ceremony
America cannot afford “a truculent child president” if it is to fulfil its global leadership role, the former US secretary of state John Kerry said on Thursday as he lambasted Donald Trump for failing to attend a key Armistice Day commemoration ceremony in Paris at the weekend.
Kerry is visiting the UK to promote his book and will be speaking at a Guardian Live event in London on Thursday night.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Kerry spoke of “a dearth of a leadership on a global basis” adding: “Every country is feeling the pressure of this nationalistic populist and in some cases very frightening rightwing advance.”
He said: “I was appalled that rain drops prevented the president from going to pay honour to those that died in rain, gas, snow and mud. That was the reason he came to Paris.”Trump refused to attend the rain-swept ceremony citing concerns that his helicopter could not fly due to the weather, and his belief that if he travelled by car, the Paris traffic would be severely disrupted.
Kerry said: “People are tired of the embarrassment of what took place in Paris in the last few days. We cannot have a truculent child president. We need something serious.”
Despite his personal criticism of Trump, Kerry urged his party to avoid becoming so obsessed with Trump that they call for his impeachment. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives should do whatever is appropriate, he explained, but he said: “the Democrats should not even be talking about impeachment right now. We should be talking about the alternatives that might make life better for the people in our country.”
He highlighted climate change, saying in 30 years of political activity he had “never seen evidence mounting so powerfully as it is today about the urgency of action, but it is not happening on a global basis. Scientists have just said if we do not get our act together in the next 12 years we are in for a serious catastrophe”. He also called for a global cyber-agreement on a similar scale to the deal restricting nuclear weapons. Speaking on the UK Brexit debate, he said: “Suffice it to say both President Obama and myself, as secretary of state, came here to Britain before the referendum and we both were remainers”. When asked if he supported a second referendum, he replied: “I said President Obama and I were, and are, remainers”.
He said the most recent midterm elections had made a powerful statement.
“We had, for the first time in history, more than 100 million people – 113 million people vote in the midterm elections. We had seven mid-governorships flip to the Democratic party, six legislatures and the largest number of Democratic Congresspeople elected since Watergate, which took place two months after Richard Nixon resigned.” He also rebutted the often-repeated claim that wherever Trump campaigned he won, saying Trump lost in Montana, Nevada and Arizona.
He said he had not ruled out standing as the Democratic candidate for the presidency, but said he was not “actively running round” to secure the nomination, saying as many as 20 to 25 names were being bandied around in what he described as a “mish-mash”. The only specific names he mentioned were former vice president Joe Biden and the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, but added there was a lot of talent in the party.

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#Afghanistan - Losing A Winnable War – OpEd

The Afghan government and its allies are winning battles in Afghanistan but not the war. The Afghan war started as the “good war” and as President Obama termed it later as “war of necessity” and was won in less than two months. Quickly the success of the Afghan war was termed as an international model for fighting global terrorism. It was hailed as a model of international cooperation but what has happened since then? Why is it is now at worst a “lost war” and at best a “forgotten war”. Is this war winnable? Who is the enemy we are fighting? What are the costs of inaction and withdrawal and what are the costs of winning? What does victory look like? And finally how we can achieve victory? Do we have the right means both on the Afghan side and on the side of the international community to win it and how long would it take to win this war? I don’t have a crystal ball but firsthand experience and history tells me that the heart of the matter is that we have been winning battles and losing the war; short-term tactical successes over long term strategic win over the enemy. The crust of the failures lies in a halfhearted approach to war, zigzag policy making and the lack of a broad-based reform minded government in Kabul.
Essentially – the Afghan war still counts as the “good war” because it really hasn’t met its objectives: destroying Al Qaeda, prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorist organizations and ensure no terrorist plot is planned from Afghan soil against US and its allies. On the contrary – Al Qaeda is not yet annihilated, there are more than 20 terrorist organizations active in Afghanistan and ISKP has managed to create a foothold in Afghanistan. The question is why such a reversal? The answer is simple – a halfhearted and under resourced campaign under heavy scrutiny.
The war in Afghanistan is not a civil war no an insurgency as portrayed by some within the security and military circles. It started as a war against terrorism, which is now transformed to proxy war with elements of criminal economy, and terrorism. It is in this environment that terrorist organizations thrive thus making victory difficult to claim in the absence of a long-term strategy and commitment.
At the outset -everyone had a plan to win the war but not a strategy to win the peace in Afghanistan. It is important to note because if you look at the trajectory of war policy making you will find out that immediately after the Taliban regime was overthrown nobody knew what to do next post first Bonn conference in 2001. Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, alongwith former President Bush did not want a major US presence in Afghanistan. Then they had to train Afghan forces to be able to maintain security and stability in the country and got NATO involved and subsequently we have witnessed a plethora of haphazard often-contested prescriptions for the Afghan war. Nobody defined victory and what does victory look like in a war as complicated and multifaceted like Afghanistan. Since then we have seen a plethora of zig-zag policy making by the Americans and NATO allies often focused on short term results and under pressure from their parliaments aimed at achieving quick wins. Afghan experts and policy makers at times joke that the only country which had a consistent and robust policy towards Afghanistan is Pakistan – keep the war going on enough to hurt but not at a boiling point to recall for an international retaliation. This policy has not changed and as we can see is starting to pay dividend to GHQ in Rawalpindi.
On the otherhand – Taliban have transformed themselves from a regime hosting Al Qaeda who plotted the 9/11 tragic events to a terrorist group and subsequently now a full blown “insurgent group” who supposedly poses no risk to the west and its allies and are merely leading a national struggle and the Afghans need to reconcile with them.
The fact of the matter is that the Afghan war has been for many years in a stalemate but still winnable. The NATO train and assist missions has failed to break this stalemate for many reasons chief among them a lack of resources, political considerations in US and European capitals and finally geopolitical priorities in other parts of the world such as Syria, Iraq and nowadays Russia. But against all odds – the Afghan war is still winnable and a just war and one, which is vital for the national security interests of the west and Afghanistan. In fact – the war in Afghanistan symbolizes victory and defeat against terrorism. It all started here and will end here.
Afghanistan faces a proxy war imposed on its population from outside. Unlike Syria Afghanistan is not in a civil war or an insurgency as some may define this war. Afghanistan faces a full blown proxy war imposed on its population thriving in an environment of criminal economy and international terrorism. The question remains how you win such a war?

What is the Afghan war and who are we fighting?

The war in Afghanistan is multilayered and multifaceted with deep regional and global roots. It is not a civil war like Syria and nor it is an insurgency whereas a group of dissidents with no freedom control large swaths of land and wage a war of national freedom. It is a proxy war coupled with elements of criminal economy and terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan. For the Afghans it is a national struggle and war of freedom from the reign of terror financed and provided safe havens outside of Afghanistan and for the international community it is the global war on terrorism. Afghan have suffered more than anyone and have been victims of this long war. According to the United Nations civilian casualties report – last year more than 4000 civilians lost their lives in Afghanistan and over the last 17 years more than 80,000 Afghan civilians were killed. This is the price Afghans are paying on a daily basis for this struggle.
Essentially – this war is as much about the region and global security as much as it is about the national security interests of Afghanistan. More than 20 terrorist organization operate under various outfits in Afghanistan and fight Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) whose primary objective is to plan and execute deadly terrorist attacks in the capitals of the region and the west. The security of Afghanistan is tied to the security of Tehran, Delhi, London, Berlin and New York.
Therefore – the war in Afghanistan is not only the war of Afghans but also the war of the west against its original motto of global terrorism. This consensus is unfortunately broken. When the global war on terrorism was launched it was due to broad-based consensus inside Afghanistan and the region that the Taliban regime was toppled in a matter of days and it is precisely due to this the lack and breakdown of such a consensus that Taliban are now stronger and more terrorist groups are operating in Afghanistan. Taliban provide the umbrella for many of these regional and global terrorist groups to operate in Afghanistan. The Taliban and these terrorist organizations enjoy a symbiotic relationship and mutually feed on each other.
This is why it is crucial to debunk the myth that Taliban are no more a threat to the west and the region because they are waging an insurgency against the Afghan government. This will only be true if they have truly broken ranks with Al Qaeda and other groups. WE still have not seen evidence of such a breakaway in ranks.

What is victory and how you win the war?

The ultimate end of the Afghan war comes with a political settlement but through a decisive military win on the battlefields. We should search for peace on the battlefields and not European capitals and the capitals of Afghan neighbors. Victory against Taliban and terrorist co-conspirators is a decisive military win in the battlefield no matter at what cost followed by a political settlement with the remnants of the Afghan Taliban. This is not the case now. The war is in a painful stalemate taking lives of dozens of Afghans on a daily basis and Taliban feel they have the upper hand in view of the waning support for an unpopular war in the west. What the western politicians have failed to convey to their populations is that winning the war in Afghanistan against terrorism is directly related to the security on the streets of Europe and the United States.
Meanwhile – one third of the fighters in the Afghan battlefields are foreign fighters from Pakistan, Central Asia and Europe. They are transit fighters whose ultimate aim is to hurt the region and the west. For them the only option should be leave to your countries of origin, surrender or get killed.
This victory requires a long-term commitment; resources and a decisive military win in the battlefields with a broad-based and credible Afghan partner.

What is needed for victory?

To achieve victory we need a 3D approach. On the Defense side we need to crush the Taliban military machinery by targeting their command and control structure, sources of financing and safehavens. We are now killing the expendable soldiers and at best mid level commanders. The leadership of the Taliban and their foreign collaborators do not pay any cost and are comfortably planning operations and killing Afghan and NATO service members in Afghanistan from their safe havens in Pakistan and increasingly now Iran and some Central Asian states.
On the diplomacy – the Afghan government and its NATO allies need to patch up and bring back the much needed but broken consensus of fighting terrorist as a collective security threat. This consensus of security for all as opposed to privatizing the war on terror needs to be restored.
And finally – Afghan and the Afghan government should start long term planning for an economic renaissance and increasingly taking responsibility for its economic revival and funding of its security forces. The short-term sources of finance are agriculture, transit and water while long-term economic development of Afghanistan to bring much needed revenues can rely on mining and natural resources development.

#Pakistan: Festering Wound In Balochistan – Analysis

By Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Five construction workers of non-Baloch ethnicity were shot dead while another three suffered injuries in an attack near Ganz, some 15 kilometers west of Jiwani town in the Gwadar District of Balochistan on October 31, 2018. According to official sources, the labourers were working at a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)-related private housing scheme on Peshkan-Ganz road, which links Gwadar with Jewani, when a group of unidentified assailants riding motorcycles appeared on the scene and opened fire. Security officials identified four of the deceased as Naeem Ahmed and Hunzullah, residents of Karachi (Sindh); Irshad Ali of Sukkur (Sindh); and Muhammad Shakir of Multan (Punjab). The identity of the fifth deceased is yet to be ascertained.
Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) ‘spokesperson’ Azad Baloch, claiming responsibility for the attack, stated,
The site attacked today was part of CPEC project… Today’s attack is a clear message to China and all other countries that Balochistan is an occupied territory. We warn all military and other constructions companies to immediately stop working on their projects in Gwadar or they will be targeted by Baloch fighters.
He added that any agreement with China and other countries by Pakistan, without the consent of the Baloch nation and before the freedom of Balochistan, has no legal standing. Further, that Pakistan on October 29, 2018, organised a conference of 26 countries – Asian Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Political Affairs – in its attempt assert the legality of its illegal occupation in Balochistan. Warning against the ongoing ‘colonisation’ of Balochistan he stated,
China and Pakistan are settling Punjabis and Chinese in Gwadar and other areas of Balochistan’s coastal belt to turn the Baloch into a minority under their expansionist designs… If the international community fails to fulfil their responsibilities and turns a blind eye to the Pakistani and Chinese colonisation of Balochistan, then the Baloch nation will have no other option but to target all non-Baloch settlers in Balochistan… The BLA will continue to resist against the occupation of Baloch Ocean and coastal belt…
He added that China and Pakistan were building around 70 housing schemes under the exploitative CPEC colonisation project.
On August 11, 2018, six persons – among them three Chinese engineers – were injured in a suicide attack on a bus in the Dalbandin area of Chagai District in Balochistan. The bus carrying 18 Chinese engineers was being escorted by Frontier Corps (FC) troops to the Dalbandin airport from the Saindaik copper and gold mines, when a suicide bomber tried to drive his explosives-laden vehicle into the bus. “The explosives-laden vehicle exploded near the bus on Quetta-Taftan Highway – and as a result three Chinese engineers, two FC soldiers and the bus driver were injured,” an unnamed Levies official stated. Saifullah Khatiran, Deputy Commissioner of Chagai District, disclosed that the engineers were working on the Saindak project, a joint venture between Pakistan and China to extract gold, copper and silver from an area close to the border.
Jiand Baloch, a BLA ‘spokesperson’, had then stated, “We targeted this bus which was carrying Chinese engineers. We attacked them because they are extracting gold from our region, we won’t allow it.” In a statement issued on Twitter, the BLA identified the suicide bomber as Rehan Baloch, who died in the attack, as the elder son of BLA’s ‘senior commander’ Aslam Baloch.
On May 4, 2018, six ethnic Punjabi labourers were killed and one injured in an incident of firing in the Laijay area of Kharan District. Levies sources said the labourers, who hailed from eastern Punjab, were working on a mobile tower and were sleeping in tents at the site when unidentified militants on motorcycles opened fire on them. The assailants escaped unhurt after the attack. There was no claim of responsibility.
There is persistent discontent among the ethnic Baloch with regard to CPEC, as the Province is at the heart of the USD 62 billion scheme – a massive series of projects that includes a network of highways, railways and energy infrastructure spanning the entire country. CPEC is a flagship project in China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This discontent constitutes an enduring threat to Chinese engineers, workers and people associated the constituent projects from Baloch nationalists, who consider it part of a ‘strategic design’ by Pakistan and China to loot Balochistan’s resources and eliminate the Baloch culture and identity.
Highlighting the existing discontent, the then Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo on April 11, 2018, had said that his province was being neglected by the Federal Government in the CPEC project: “More than Rs. [PKR] 5,000 billion is being spent on the CPEC, but Balochistan is not receiving even one per cent of it.”
Earlier, on March 5, 2017, pro-Government Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) president Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal had asserted that no development could be seen in Balochistan under CPEC, and that this project would not benefit its people, as not a single development project had been launched in the region as part of the mega project. He had also argued that CPEC was not meant for the development of Balochistan, but rather for converting the Baloch nation into a “minority on its own soil.” Sardar Mengal alleged, further,
The Punjab is looting resources of the small provinces for its own interest. We do not ask anything from the Punjab, but want ownership of all the resources of Balochistan. The people of Balochistan, and not Sardars and Nawabs, deserved and owned these resources.
Asserting that CPEC would convert the Baloch people into minorities in their own homeland, Noordin Mengal, a human rights campaigner from Balochistan, stated that, with an influx of outsiders as a result of the project, the identity of the Baloch was being threatened.
Much earlier, on August 13, 2016, dubbing China, a ‘great threat’ to the Baloch people, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Balochistan representative Mehran Marri had argued,
China really-really is spreading its tentacles in Balochistan very rapidly, and therefore, we are appealing to the international community. The Gwadar project is for the Chinese military. This would be detrimental to international powers, to the people’s interest, where 60 percent of world’s oil flows. So, the world has to really take rapid action in curbing China’s influence in Balochistan in particular and in Pakistan in general.
Indeed, the Senate (upper house of the National Assembly) was informed on November 24, 2017, that 91 per cent of the revenues to be generated from the Gwadar port as part of CPEC would go to China, while the Gwadar Port Authority would be left with a nine per cent share in the income for the next 40 years. This was disclosed by the then Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, after senators expressed concern over the secrecy surrounding the CPEC long-term agreement plan, with many observing that the agreement tilted heavily in China’s favour. Balochistan will not get a single paisa from the revenue, because ports are a federal subject and no steps were taken to make an exception for the impoverished Balochistan province.
The Gwadar Port is the epicentre of whole of CPEC project in Pakistan, yet the residents of the city have a hard time getting drinking water on a daily basis. In order to address the drinking-water shortage in Gwadar, the Federal Government has announced many desalination plants, but none has yet materialized.
Most of the other CPEC projects are for power generation, as Pakistan was facing a severe power shortage. CPEC projects are expected to generate almost 10,000 megawatts of electricity for the national grid. But again, Balochistan has not benefited from this. Of the 21 electricity-generation plants planned under CPEC, only one is in Balochistan, and that will also supply electricity to the national grid and not exclusively to Balochistan.
Provoked by a sense of deliberate neglect of the province and systematic loot of its natural resources, the Baloch militant groups have been targeting non-Baloch workers and people associated with CPEC. Militants trying to disrupt construction of CPEC projects in Balochistan have killed 66 persons since 2014. According to Colonel Zafar Iqbal, a spokesperson for the construction company Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), “The latest figure has climbed up to 44 deaths and over 100 wounded men on CPEC projects, mainly road construction in Balochistan, which began in 2014.” Since September 7, 2016, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), another 22 persons have been killed in different CPEC related projects across the province (till November 4, 2018).
The latest attack, on October 31, came a couple of days before newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s departure for China on a three-day official visit. Khan’s visit evoked considerable interest as it comes in the wake of his past criticism of CPEC projects. On October 6, 2018, Khan declared that Pakistan was reviewing the projects under CPEC to safeguard the interest of the people in Balochistan Province, adding, “Balochistan will get its due share, whatever it may be, in the CPEC.” Unfortunately, the Province has been getting such assurances for a long time, without any visible positive movement on the ground.

"Very Concerned" Over Terror, US Says "Pakistan Certainly Needs To Do More"

US State Department Coordinator for Counter-terrorism Nathan Alexander Sales said during a Congressional hearing that the US was "very concerned" over the support for terrorism in any region of the world.
Pakistan certainly needs to do more in its fight against terrorism and the Trump administration expects Islamabad to act against terror groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba in same way as it did against Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks, a top American official has said. US' State Department Coordinator for Counter-terrorism Nathan Alexander Sales said during a Congressional hearing that the US was "very concerned" over the support for terrorism in any region of the world.
"And I can tell you we have communicated to the Pakistani government at the highest levels that we expect them to do more just like we expected them to act with us after 9/11," Mr Sales said on Wednesday.
"Pakistan has in the past been a very effective counterpart in taking the fight to Al Qaeda. We need them to do the same thing with respect to the Haqqanis, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the other terrorist groups that are active in the region," he said.
Mr Sales said Pakistan "certainly needs to do more" in the fight against terrorism.
His remarks came after several Congressmen expressed concern over the continued resistance by Pakistan to take satisfactory action against terror groups operating from its soil.
The lawmakers alleged that Pakistan was not doing enough against the terror groups.
"I think they're not doing the job, despite terrorism, because the terrorists come in from Pakistan into Afghanistan, do their mischief, and run back across the border. I think they've been doing that for years," said Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
"They take our money....million of dollars we give Pakistan every year. It befuddles me why we do that when they don't... and they allow a safe haven for terrorists in their own country that invade another country, namely Afghanistan," Mr Poe said. He, however, praised the State Department for not giving Pakistan funds for counter-terrorism.
The State Department's Inspector General filed a report last year that found much of the anti-terrorism assistance US had given to Pakistan was not being used, including dozens of courses not implemented."I am pleased to hear the Bureau has since repurposed many of the resources that had been sent to Pakistan to other more worthwhile programs. We cannot afford to throw good money after bad. Effective monitoring and evaluation programs are crucial to spotting what is not working and making changes that do," he said.In his first tweet of the year, US President Donald Trump had expressed his dissatisfaction over Pakistan's reluctance in taking strong action against terrorists.
"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" President Trump had tweeted.
He had ordered to stop all security financial assistance to Pakistan.

#Pakistan - #PPP - Bilawal Bhutto to visit GB on 17th

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is scheduled to arrive in Gilgit-Baltistan on a five-day visit from Nov 17 (Saturday).
According to PPP media office in Islamabad, Mr Bilawal will address a public gathering in Gilgit on Nov 18 (Sunday).
It will be his first visit to GB.
Meanwhile, talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, PPP GB president Amjad Hussain Advocate alleged that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in the region had distributed Rs15 million among 15 families in GB from the government exchequer.
He vowed to reveal names of the beneficiary families at the party’s rally on Nov 18.
He claimed that Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman would be in the hot waters when his advisers and government officials would turn against him in the alleged corruption.
He vowed that the PPP would continue exposing corruption, bad governance and mismanagement of the regional government, adding the masses had already lost confidence in the government as it had badly to come up to their expectations. Replying a question, he said the GB chief minister had become more powerful after the PTI came into power in Islamabad.