Pentagon withdraws $300M in funding to Pakistan's military

Hannah Rogers
September 3, 2018

The US has the largest share of votes at the International Monetary Fund.

Lt Col Faulkner said the Pentagon aimed to spend the $300 million on "other urgent priorities" if approved by Congress.

The suspension of the CSF money was part of a larger cut in aid to Pakistan made by President Donald Trump at the beginning of the year.

The Trump administration a year ago resolved to take tougher line with Pakistan than previous USA administrations.

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.

The reason the US has allowed Pakistan to play this game for so long is the issue of resupplying our troops in Afghanistan.

He said Congress had stripped another $500 million in CSF from Pakistan earlier this year, bringing the total sum withheld to $800 million. He also claimed that the money in question was owed to Pakistan and did not constitute aid.

The significance of United States cancelling $300m in security assistance to the Pakistan has been downplayed by the country's foreign minister who said the amount was a reimbursement and not assistance.

Russian Federation in particular has launched a charm offensive in Pakistan including the signing of a military cooperation pact, helicopter deliveries and officer training exercises.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Islamabad will promote relations with the USA based on mutual trusts, respect and dignity.

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The longest war in USA history will not change dramatically in military terms, but political support for the war in the U.S. can only further deteriorate.

Pakistan is still believed to have the strongest influence over the Taliban, making its cooperation necessary for peace talks. Khan is, however, a critic of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and critics have nicknamed him "Taliban Khan" due to his willingness to talk to Islamist groups.

He added: "We continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups". Trump in August previous year unveiled his new South Asia policy and asked Pakistan to do more against such groups.

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

A Pakistani official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was unaware of a formal notification of the USA decision on assistance but said one was expected by the end of September.

"Unfortunately, recent reporting has distorted the details of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) by stating several things out of context".

But US officials accuse Islamabad of ignoring or even collaborating with groups, which attack Afghanistan from safe havens along the border between the two countries.

At the same time, the Trump administration has been cutting Pakistani military officers out of American training programs.

Separately on Friday, the Trump administration announced it wouldeliminate US funding to the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) calling it an "irredeemably flawed operation".

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