Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Pentagon moves to scrap US$300 million in aid to Pakistan

Pentagon moves to scrap US$300 million in aid to Pakistan

"Pakistan is now buying most of its defence equipment from China instead of the USA and that strategic partnership is upsetting Washington".

The Pentagon said the USA military made the decision "due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia strategy".

Pentagon proposes to use the money, which came from the security-related Coalition Support Fund (CSF), for other purposes, if approved by Congress.

He said the USA military would aim to spend the money on other "urgent priorities" before the funds expire on September 30, 2018.

While Islamabad has not offered any reaction to the USA announcement, government officials have privately criticized it and insisted the money was not aid, but "reimbursements for expenses incurred" by Pakistan to conduct operations in support of US -led "war on terrorism" in Afghanistan. But the Pentagon did not take final steps on the $300 million until this summer.

The United States routinely calls on Pakistan to do more in the fight against terrorism even though Islamabad has suffered huge losses, both in men and material, in its effort to purge the region of the menace of terrorism. "We will listen to him and present our point of view to him as well", said the foreign minister. Ali J. Siddiqui, Pakistan's ambassador to the US, confirmed to NBC News last month that the USA has also axed a long-standing military training program between the two countries.

"We will sit and discuss this with him (Pompeo)".

"It is not a cut in any [U.S.] aid, it is not assistance".

The so-called Coalition Support Funds (CSF) were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by U.S. President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with "nothing but lies & deceit". The US and others have long complained that Pakistan provides safe haven to militant networks, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan. "No more!" he had said. With the latest move, the Department of Defence (DoD) has reprogrammed Dollars 800 million CSF destined for Pakistan as US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis did not give the necessary certification to Congress that thecountry has taken strong steps against terrorist groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

But U.S. officials had held out the possibility that Pakistan could win back that support if it changed its behavior.

Over the weekend, two Pakistani companies - Technology Links Pvt Ltd and Techcare Services FZ - were placed under the Entity List by the Export Administration Regulations by the US.

"This is a predictable and unsurprising decision".

The South Asia Strategy, announced by President Trump last August, encompasses Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the Central Asian nations and aims in part to "stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America", according to a press release from the Department of Defense.

Imran Khan (C), chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party speaks after he was elected as Prime Minister at the National Assembly (Lower House of Parliament) in Islamabad, Aug. 17, 2018.

Islamabad recently sought to dispute a USA readout of a phone call between Pompeo and PM Khan, insisting that terrorism did not come up during the discussions.

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