US cancels Pakistan aid over militant record

03 September, 2018, 19:01 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • US to stop $300 million aid for Pakistan cites lack of strong action on terrorism as reason

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Yesterday, the US Military confirmed that the Coalition Support Funds had been cut.

"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", Trump wrote on Twitter at the beginning of the year.

Pakistani President Imran Khan has called for a new, "mutually beneficial", relationship with the USA that breaks with the antiterrorism partnership dating to 2001.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has also accused Pakistan of playing a "double game" on fighting terrorism.

What does the U.S. want from Pakistan?

It says the insurgents have safe havens in Pakistan´s border areas and it aims to use them as a regional bulwark in Afghanistan against arch-nemesis India.

Pakistan does not agree with the USA view that India has a role to play in bringing peace to Afghanistan, the nation's Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said.

Earlier, the Pentagon announced that it was seeking to reallocate $300 million in aid to Pakistan due to Islamabad's lack of "decisive actions" in support of America's Afghan strategy. The request was pending Congressional approval.

To a question about options for Pakistan to get the stopped funds, Mr. Qureshi said Pakistan will talk to the USA because the money was already spent by Pakistan.

"The $300 million is neither aid nor assistance - it is the money Pakistan spent from its resources against militants and in the war against terrorism".

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The aid that's being suspended comes from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which is used to reimburse USA partners for logistical and military support to US military operations in the region.

It comes at a delicate moment in the U.S. The $300 million cut and comments by a Pentagon spokesman suggest Washington does not feel this has happened and is ratcheting up the pressure.

American officials had held out the possibility of Pakistan winning back United States aid if it changed its behaviour. Haley said Pakistan would work with the U.S.at times, while at the same time harboring terrorists that attack American troops in Afghanistan. Cutting the money off seems an obvious step.

No restoration of United States security assistance to Pakistan before the war in Afghanistan ends, more restrictions may be imposed and Washington has serious concerns about Pakistan's growing economic ties with China, said Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall G. Schriver.

Washington's footprint in Afghanistan is much smaller than it was at the height of the war, but it needs access to Pakistan's supply lines and airspace.

It also believes that a Pakistani crackdown could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the long-running war in Afghanistan. Momentum for fresh negotiations has been growing in recent weeks.

The Taliban reacted to the new strategy by threatening to make Afghanistan a "graveyard" for USA soldiers.

"They are squeezing them when they know that they're vulnerable and it is probably a signal about what to expect should Pakistan come to the International Monetary Fund for a loan", Lalwani also said.

The announcement, and Pompeo´s visit, come weeks after Khan took office amid concerns he would remain tolerant of militant groups.

Since coming to power he has called for a more balanced relationship with the US.

Qureshi said the matter will be taken up during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the country on September 5.

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