Pentagon cuts off financial aid to Pakistan

Posted September 03, 2018

The reason the USA has allowed Pakistan to play this game for so long is the issue of resupplying our troops in Afghanistan. We will try to improve bilateral ties between the two countries.

Under the Department of Defense's Appropriations Act of 2018, signed by the president in March, Pakistan would not be refunded for any defense operations unless the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State certified that it is "cooperating with the United States in 12 counterterrorism efforts".

In August, a row erupted between the two nations following a telephone call by Mr Pompeo to Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, as Islamabad took exception to the American version of the conversation that the issue of terrorism was discussed during the call.

Trump earlier this year wrote on Twitter that 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 & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools".

But he also said that the Trump administration was willing to give Imran Khan and his team some "space" to make their policies.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Qureshi clarified that the money blocked by the United States military was part of reimbursement for the loss of lives and financial losses Pakistan suffered while leading the fight against terrorism. America has been opining that the Pakistan is failing to stop the terrorist activities on its ground despite receiving the US' financial aid.

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The US$300 million suspension notably coincides with growing economic troubles in Pakistan, marked by dwindling reserves and spiraling debts that some suggest could result in economic collapse without a massive and prompt infusion of funds.

In a victory speech, he said he wanted "mutually beneficial" ties with Washington.

The Pentagon announced in January that it was suspending aid, known as coalition support funds, to Pakistan, and subsequently the Congress cancelled $500 million in such aid.

Worldwide relations expert Huma Baqai said the Pakistan-US ties had deteriorated like 'never before.' "We still have a chance as Pompeo and Dunford are coming for talks".

Mr Schriver not only offered conditional support to Pakistan's efforts to seek worldwide or bilateral loans, but also acknowledged the key role that Islamabad has to play in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table.

The move, which must be passed by the US Congress to take effect, is the latest salvo in a broader suspension of US military assistance to Pakistan first announced in January.

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However, on Thursday, Islamabad stepped back from the row with the US State Department with Foreign Office spokesperson saying: "We would want the episode to end... politically, we need to move on".

A Pakistani official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was unaware of a formal notification of the US decision on assistance but said one was expected by the end of September.

Pakistan has received more than $33 billion in US assistance in the past 16 years, including more than $14 billion in Coalition Support Funds.

The chairman of Pakistan's senate foreign relations committee, Mushahid Hussain, said the proposed cuts were "a sop to India".

Pakistan could again be eligible next year for CSF.

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