Pakistan will seek “pending payments” amounting to billions of dollars from the Unites States as the two countries struggle to build trust, diplomatic sources said.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Pakistan would ask the US to at least release the payments that were long overdue.

“We are calculating the amount. It is in billions of dollars. They have suspended the aid but they cannot suspend the pending payments . That’s our right,” told an official.

"The relevant departments are working on the details of the pending payments . The request will be sent to the US once we have calculated the total amount,” he added.

Last month, the United States said it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan targeting the Coalition Support Fund.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US was suspending “security assistance only” to Pakistan. She clarified that Pakistan would be able to receive the suspended funding, if it took “decisive actions” against the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban.

Later, Pakistan said it had handed over 27 members of Taliban and the Haqqani network to Afghanistan last year. Kabul disputed the claim saying they were only “ordinary prisoners”.

Pakistan also said it was not dependent on the US aid for its war on terror.

The foreign ministry said Pakistan had fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources, “which has cost over $120 billion in 15 years.”

Pakistan said the money it had received from the US was mainly reimbursements for supporting US-led coalition forces after they invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

At the start of 2018, the US President Donald Trump had tweeted: “They [Pakistan] give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

In a recent interview, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the US military funding to Pakistan was very minimal and billions of dollars in reimbursements were due to Pakistan under the CSF.

He said Pakistan had kept the US supply routes into Afghanistan open, and was also sharing intelligence with Washington despite the suspension of aid by the US.

Pakistan estimated receiving at least $1.5 billion under the CSF during 2017-2018. The US only disbursed $550 million during the last fiscal year ending July despite committing $880 million. Trump claimed giving Pakistan $33 billion in aid.

The US had sanctioned $33.4 billion for reimbursements to Pakistan during the past 15 years, 44 per cent of which was on account of anti-terror services.

The US says excluding $14.573 billion cost of logistics and aerial support, the approved civilian and security-related aid to Pakistan from 2002 to 2016 was only $18.8 billion.

Compared to the actual foreign aid of $18.8 billion, Pakistan says it sustained $123.13 billion losses on account of the war against terrorism since 9/11.

Washington’s economic leverage over Islamabad has significantly reduced since 2014, as it came down to $1.6 billion per annum against an average of $2.3 billion per annum between 2002 and 2013.

Excluding the CSF-related payments to Pakistan, the US assistance to Pakistan from 2014 to 2016 was $810 million per annum against the average of $1.4 billion during the 2002-2013 period.

In economic assistance, the US has given $10.85 billion to Pakistan during the past 15 years at an average of $723.5 million per annum.

Out of $10.85 billion, the US gave $8.5 billion under the Economic Support Fund, $918 million under the International Disaster Assistance Programme and another $623 million in food aid to Pakistan.

Another official at the foreign ministry said Pakistan and the US were in talks to build trust. “The main issue is the lack of trust. The US suspects our role in the war on terror despite our sacrifices in the anti-terror campaign. Pakistan is trying to remove US’ misunderstandings,” he said.

On Tuesday, US ambassador to Pakistan David Hale met with American Business Council of Pakistan President Kamran Nishat and the Council’s Executive Committee here to discuss opportunities to grow American-Pakistani commercial and economic ties, a US embassy statement said.

With bilateral trade having reached a record high of more than $6 billion in 2017, the ambassador stressed America’s commitment to fostering increased economic cooperation and welcomed ABC’s efforts to work with the Pakistani government to improve the country’s business and investment climate.

Defence analyst Dr Mohammed Khan said the whole world had rejected President Trump’s policies. He said there was “no element of integrity in the US under [the] Trump administration.”

“Instead of making US a great nation, as promised, Trump is destabilising his own country. Even the United Nations and the Nato have challenged the global policies of Trump,” he pointed out.

Khan said Pakistan and the US needed to resolve their issues through talks and build trust.

“This [partnership] is in the interest of both the countries,” he added.