ISLAMABAD - Islamabad yesterday protested against the Pentagon’s decision of not paying $300 million to Pakistan in military reimbursements, saying Pakistan was the worst victim of terror.

Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakariya said that Pakistan was taking action against all terrorist groups without any discrimination.

Addressing a weekly news briefing here, the spokesman said that no country had suffered in the war on terror greater than Pakistan. “Sixty thousand people including 6,000 security personnel have lost their lives in this war,” he elaborated.

Earlier, the Pentagon decided it will not pay Pakistan $300 million in military reimbursements after US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter decided not to tell Congress that Pakistan was taking adequate action against the Haqqani network.

Relations between the two countries have been frayed over the past decade, with US officials frustrated by what they term Islamabad’s unwillingness to act against militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.

“The funds could not be released to the government of Pakistan at this time because the Secretary has not yet certified that Pakistan has taken a sufficient action against the Haqqani network,” Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said. The $300 million amount comes under the Coalition Support Fund, a US Defence Department program to reimburse allies that have incurred costs in supporting counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations. Pakistan is the largest recipient.

According to Pentagon data, about $14 billion have already been paid to Pakistan under the CSF since 2002. The decision by the Pentagon is a sign that while it sees some progress by Pakistan in its military operations in North Waziristan, much work remains.

The relations between the United States and Pakistan were tested in May last by a US drone strike that had killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour on Pakistani soil. There has been growing resistance in the US Congress to sending money to Pakistan.

In March, Republican Senator Bob Corker said he would use his power as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to bar any US funding for Islamabad’s purchase of $700 million of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets.  Nafees Zakariya said Pakistan was committed in its fight against terrorism and was not protecting any group.

He said the operation Zarb-e-Azb had seen a resounding success due to which last bastions of terrorists in the tribal areas have been cleared.

Zakariya said Pakistan will continue its fight against terrorism with firm resolve and determination and will ensure that the cleared areas do not slide back to the terrorists.

Responding to a question about the proscription of Jamaat-e-Ahrar by the United States, the spokesperson said Pakistan welcomes the decision.

He said Pakistan has long been pleading to take concrete action against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and other groups which were involved in attacks inside Pakistan while operating from Afghanistan.

Nafees Zakariya said the primary objective of border management with Afghanistan is to regulate the movement of people and avert the incursions of terrorists and undesired elements. He said that the two sides had evolved a mechanism to discuss the border related issues.

Zakariya said that there were no bilateral agreements between the two countries barring the construction of the gate which the Pakistani side has erected well inside its territory.

Calling Kashmir the main bone of contention between Pakistan and India, the spokesman said that the issue should be resolved as per the resolutions of the UN and Kashmiris should be given their birth right of self-determination which the promise of which the Indian leadership had made to the world. Pakistan wants to resolve any and all issues with all its neighbours peacefully, he said.

He said Pakistan has strongly taken up with the international community and the human rights organizations the recent wave of atrocities unleashed by the Indian troops in the valley over the last one month.

He said a number of countries and human rights organizations had also expressed serious concerns over the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

He said Pakistani missions abroad had sensitized the human rights organizations and their host countries about the Indian persecution of innocent Kashmiris.

“There is growing realization in the world now about the sensitivity of Kashmir dispute which is distinct in nature and cannot be equated with any other issue,” he added. The spokesman reminded that Kashmir was an international issue and there are several UNSC resolutions on it.

About the stranded Pakistani people in Saudi Arabia, the spokesperson said Pakistani mission there has taken adequate steps to address their problems. “To a great extent, the crisis is over,” he added.

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor project is the result of Pakistan’s successful diplomacy and it will usher in a new phase of development in the region, he added.