ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military said Friday the suspension of US assistance will undermine bilateral security cooperation and regional peace efforts but will not deter the Pakistan’s counterterrorism resolve. “Pakistan never fought for money but for peace. We don’t need security aid at the cost of national dignity,” army spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor told VOA. The Trump administration announced Thursday it was suspending hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance to Pakistan until the latter takes ‘decisive action’ against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network. The militant groups allegedly operate out of Pakistani territory and conduct attacks on US forces in Afghanistan.“Suspension of security assistance will not affect Pakistan’s resolve to fight terrorism; however, it for sure will have an impact on Pakistan-US security cooperation and efforts towards regional peace,” noted Maj Gen Ghafoor. Military-led counterterrorism operations, he added, have targeted terrorists ‘indiscriminately’, including Haqqanis at a ‘heavy cost of blood and treasure’. There are no more ‘organized’ terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan, Ghafoor maintained.“Casting doubts on our will is not good to our common objective of moving toward enduring peace and stability. Pakistan shall continue its sincere efforts in best interest of Pakistan and peace,” the army spokesman said. The war of words between the two countries was triggered by US President Donald Trump’s tweet on Monday in which he threatened to slash funding for Pakistan, accusing it of providing a haven to terrorists and playing US leaders for ‘fools’.In his Twitter comments, Trump said Washington has received ‘nothing but lies and deceits’ in return for giving Pakistan more than $33 billion in the last 15 years.Islamabad denounced the comments as ‘completely incomprehensible’ and reiterated its pledge to work with Washington to fight terrorism and stabilize neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistani leaders say the United States is scapegoating their country for the US’s Afghan ‘failures’.A leading opposition politician, Imran Khan, Friday demanded the government categorically refuse to accept any future US assistance in the wake of Trump’s remarks.While addressing a news conference in Islamabad, the opposition leader praised Pakistani forces for cleansing and securing traditionally volatile tribal areas, including North Waziristan, on the Afghan border.“Despite Pakistan clearing up North Waziristan, still half of Afghanistan is in Taliban hands. So, who is responsible for this?To make Pakistan the scapegoat of a failed strategy in Afghanistan is not just a travesty of justice, it is deeply insulting and humiliating for people of Pakistan,” Khan said. Pakistan’s reluctance to undertake counterterrorism operations in the Waziristan region had been a major irritant in relations with the US The area was believed to be a training ground for Taliban and Haqqani militants.Army officials, however, say a major ground and air offensive in North Waziristan in June 2014 has since uprooted all terrorism infrastructure and secured more than 95 percent of the territory.Published in Daily Times, January 6th 2018.