| U.S. suspends at least $900 million in security aid to Pakistan
| Saturday, January 06, 2018
|Jihad Watch : At last, some common sense in U.S. foreign policy. This means several
hundred million dollars that the Taliban and the Haqqani Network won’t
get. We can only hope that there will be much, much more of this sort of
thing to come.
“U.S. suspends at least $900 million in security aid to Pakistan,” by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay, Reuters, January 4, 2018 :
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday
it was suspending at least $900 million in security assistance to
Pakistan until it takes action against the Afghan Taliban and the
Haqqani network militant groups. The U.S. State Department announced the decision, saying it reflected
the Trump administration’s frustration that Pakistan has not done more
against the two groups that Washington says use sanctuaries in Pakistan
to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan that have killed U.S.,
Afghan and other forces.
The department declined to say exactly how much aid would be
suspended, saying the numbers were still being calculated and included
funding from both the State and Defense departments. Pakistan has long rejected accusations that it fails to tackle the
militants battling the Kabul government and U.S.-led foreign forces in
Afghanistan, from sanctuaries on its side of the border. On Friday, Pakistan criticized what it called “shifting goalposts” and said the U.S. suspension of aid was counter-productive.
U.S. officials said two main categories of aid are affected: foreign
military financing (FMF), which funds purchases of U.S. military
hardware, training and services, and coalition support funds (CSF),
which reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations. They said
they could make exceptions to fund critical U.S. national security
CSF funds, which fall under Defense Department authority, are covered
by the freeze, said Pentagon spokesman Commander Patrick Evans, saying
Congress authorized up to $900 million in such money for Pakistan for
fiscal year 2017, which ended Sept. 30. None of that money has yet been
disbursed. The freeze also covers $255 million in FMF for fiscal year 2016,
which falls under State Department authority and whose suspension has
already been announced, as well as unspecified amounts of FMF that went
unspent in earlier fiscal years.
Briefing reporters, U.S. officials stressed the suspension did not
affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could go through if
Islamabad took decisive action against the groups. “Our hope is that they will see this as a further indication of this
administration’s immense frustration with the trajectory of our
relationship and that they need to be serious about taking the steps we
have asked in order to put it on more solid footing,” a senior State
Department official told reporters. “We’re hoping that Pakistan will see this as an incentive, not a punishment,” he added.
The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday….
|posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 9:02 PM