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Citing Terror, Pentagon Stops $300M in Pakistan Aid

Citing Terror, Pentagon Stops $300M in Pakistan Aid

The U.S. military says it has made a decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended due to Islamabad's perceived lack of action against militants, raising tensions ahead of a visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the top U.S. general.

The report by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali quoted Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner as saying, "Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining 300 (million) Dollars was reprogrammed" and will now be used on "other urgent priorities" if United States Congress approves.

To a query regarding reported cut in security assistance to Pakistan, the foreign minister said it was not the aid which the usa was giving to Pakistan.

Dr Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, another International Relations expert said the United States was trying all tactics to pressure Pakistan.

"[The United States is] 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", Sameer Lalwani, co-director of the South Asia program at the Stimson Center think tank in Washington.

The Trump administration had announced a week earlier that it would withdraw $200 million in separate aid for the Palestinians.

"Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy..."

Pentagon Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said, "Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,", adding that the Pentagon aimed to spend this money on "other urgent priorities" if approved by US Congress.

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

More news: PM-led economic council formed to advise govt

Pakistan claimed on Sunday that the $300 million aid the Pentagon has made a decision to scrap was not a military aid as the United States owed this money to Islamabad for its support in the war on terror and was supposed to reimburse it.

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

Observers see the cancellation of Coalition Support Funds funds as pressure on Islamabad to prevent Taliban insurgents from using Pakistani soil for plotting attacks inside Afghanistan. The issue of combatting terrorism is expected to be raised by Pompeo during his talks with Khan in Islamabad this week.

Pakistan is still believed to have the strongest influence over the Taliban, making its cooperation necessary for peace talks.

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

Washington believes that a working relationship between the Taliban and Kabul can lead to an honourable withdrawal of USA troops from Afghanistan.

Mr Schriver also dispelled the perception that Washington was trying to destabilise Pakistan.

Responding to a question about the Pakistani economy, Mr Schriver said: "I don't have a good answer on the economic difficulties and challenges that Pakistan finds itself in". "With China, Pakistan already had good relations so Pakistan can not be isolated".


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