Pakistan Threatens To Remove Troops From Afghan Border Over Aid Dispute

As I noted yesterday the United States is withholding certain military aid to Pakistan over that countries actions in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Now, Pakistan is threatening to end its cooperation in the War On Terror if aid remains cut off:

Pakistan could pull back troops fighting Islamist militants near the Afghan border if the United States cuts off aid, the defense minister said on Tuesday in an interview with Pakistani media.

The United States Monday said it would hold back $800 million — a third of nearly $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan — in a show of displeasure over Pakistan’s removal of U.S. military trainers, limits on visas for U.S. personnel and other bilateral irritants.

“If at all things become difficult, we will just get all our forces back,” Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said in an interview with the Express 24/7 television to be aired later on Tuesday.

The television aired excerpts of the interview Tuesday.

“If Americans refuse to give us money, then okay,” he said. “I think the next step is that the government or the armed forces will be moving from the border areas. We cannot afford to keep military out in the mountains for such a long period.

It’s worth noting that Mukhtar doesn’t really hold any real authority in the Pakistani military structure. As the article notes, the real power is held by the Chief of Army Staff and the head of the ISI. Nonetheless, this could become a cause for concern at some point.


FILED UNDER: Asia, National Security, Terrorism, World Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Abdul says:

    It is a pretty simple concept. Pakistan put troops there to bolster the war on terrorism for the US. The funding runs dry and how can they really pay for it anymore? Afghanistan is a huge piles of rocks with no structure. All the US has done is to move dirt around for 10 years now. Massive waste of time and money. Pakistan has issues of its own to deal with. Pretty much everybody in the region is content to let a pile of rocks alone, but not us.

    The biggest issue is that if we act to rashly then China will be nicer to Pakistan. Pakistan is their route to the sea. But given the way we have abused our superpower status in the past decade, it should come as no surprise when more third world countries become friendly with china and China has the money to help out. After all, all they have to do is call in our debt to crush us. Great reactionary planning by us.

    Pakistan will even begin to work with India because Kashmir has been threatening to attempt secession from both India and Pakistan and to become ts own country. Pakistan and India will not let that happen. Thus cooperation. Imagine how sick we are going to feel when we dump on a country like Pakistan for so long, only to have them join with those we think are their enemies and then they out muscle us economically.

  2. Abdul says:

    I’m just going to hop up on my soap box for a while I guess.

    All the issues with Pakistan harboring terrorists truly is the US’ fault. We all know the Mujaheddin story so there is no need to go into that, but what few people realize is what became of these guys after we used them, and before 9-11.

    Basically they became crusading knights. I’m kind of thinking along the lines of how Mark Twain described knights in “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” They were vicious and only wanted to fight, thanks to great US training. Well when the Soviets and ourselves left the region there was this mass of soldiers who were ideological beyond belief. We of course used that while training. It is the same way our soldiers are ideological beyond belief sometimes. For example, in WWII all pilots were taught that Japanese were cross-eyed and couldn’t see beyond 200 yards, etc. Logically, it is hard to get someone to fight and die for a government, ideologically, it is not so hard. So yes, the US supported the concept of Islamic fundamentalism against the Soviets.

    Well after the destruction of the infrastructure the government of Pakistan had little in the way of means to change these guy’s minds, however they had rampaging knights. Anytime there was a war in the region Pakistan would send these knights to settle things down, think Tamil Tigers. It gave them something to do, and got them out of Pakistan for some time. Good policy, no; realism.

    9-11 changed all that for the first real time. You can say it about Iran in 79, but mostly those folks were more about policy than fundamentalism. Americans typically can’t tell the difference. When 9-11 happened we wanted revenge so we decided to blow up rocks and move dirt around some for a good show. Effective, not at all, impressive, only to Americans. Then the US needed help when they realized that rocks weren’t attacking us, however by now terrorists in Pakistan formed a substantial tax base and it was fairly hard to just remove them, also Bin Laden had spent years doling out sweetheart construction deals for infrastructure because his companies could break even or take a loss to put pols in his pocket. So he simply left Afghanistan as soon as the bombs started falling.

    The US knew that he was in Pakistan and not in some cave, and Pakistan knew he was in Pakistan, but the crusading mentality of Bush would not allow Pakistan to give up Bin Laden. However, Obama was much smarter about the thing. They finally managed a deal where Pakistan would give up Bin Laden, but they would fuss and gripe about the mission. The problem is that the US knew that most terrorists were in Pakistan but they were committed to Afghanistan because of our ideological justification for war. We declared on the wrong people for stupidity. Truthfully, and sadly, it would have made more sense to attack Pakistan. Problem is they have a nuke. And thanks to us, a band of knights close enough to the button to be a REAL issue.

    Pakistan said enough is enough, the US has to justify its war costs so they kept up the predator attacks. And now we are having a falling out. All because the idea of revenge superseded common sense.