Pentagon Decides Not to Release $300M in Aid to Pakistan

Glen Norman
September 3, 2018

Fresh news reports about suspension of the CSF is expected to further strain US-Pak relationship, which comes ahead of the Islamabad visit of US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

Qureshi said that ties between Pakistan and the U.S. are now "almost non-existent", but he hoped this would change after Pompeo's visit.

The Pentagon on Saturday announced that it will cancel $300 million aid to Pakistan over its failure to take actions against terror groups.

Faulkner said the plan will be submitted to Congress and, if approved, will bring the total of Coalition Support Funds that have been cut to $800 million since early this year.

"In terms of separating what was said during a campaign and what he said since the election, we want to give him (Mr. Khan) space to find the opportunities to improve things with India", Schriver said. "There will be exchanges", Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters late on Sunday night. We will hear stance of United States and put forward ours.

Qureshi argued that the US was not justified in cutting the $300 million because it was meant to reimburse Pakistan's military for money spent fighting the Taliban and other militants threatening USA troops in Afghanistan. It is not assistance, which was suspended. "This is the money which Pakistan has already spent through its own resources and [the US] was to reimburse it to us". This is our money.

"And to make very clear what we have to do, all of our nations, in meeting our common foe, the terrorists", Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said on August 28. That agenda includes using terrorists to shape the post-war future in Afghanistan - a future they wish to dominate.

United States officials have said that aid could be restored if Washington sees decisive action from Pakistan.

The Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban have launched attacks in Afghanistan that have killed U.S. forces, and USA officials have long argued that Pakistan, and specifically its ISI intelligence service, provides safe havens to them.

Some analysts have said there is no real way to pressure Pakistan, which believes it is more important to keep Afghanistan out of India´s orbit than to clamp down on cross-border militancy. But it will surely rankle in Pakistan and rightly so: more than the aid, it is the hectoring and aggressive tone of the Trump administration towards Pakistan combined with an apparent disregard for a peace process in Afghanistan that is a problem. Haley said Pakistan would work with the times, while at the same time harboring terrorists that attack American troops in Afghanistan.

It went on to speculate whether Pompeo would "try and bully the Pakistani leadership during his visit or if he will be deployed in a more traditional "good cop" diplomatic role". But the US must avoid a total break with Islamabad given that Pakistan is a nuclear power.

In cutting all USA funds to UNRWA, the Trump administration labeled the agency "irredeemably flawed".

The Coalition Support Funds - which the Pentagon is now proposing to cut - were part of a broader suspension of aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year.

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