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Tuesday 7 July 2020

US suspends $2 billion security assistance to Pakistan

Washington: The US today suspended about $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network terror groups and dismantle their safe havens, a White House official said.

Such a drastic step has been taken at the direction of US President Donald Trump who is frustrated at Pakistan’s inaction on terror groups, a senior administration official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.

Despite four months of high-level engagement with Pakistan, the information that Trump was receiving from the ground was not satisfactory, as a result he decided to suspend security assistance to Pakistan, the official added.

He, however, said that suspension can be lifted if Pakistan takes decisive actions against militant groups and terrorists.

The White House official disagreed with Pakistani allegations that the US is speaking the language of India and that US has dumped Pakistan.

The official was responding to a question about a statement made by the Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawja Asif in this regard. In an interview, Asif alleged that the US is “trumpeting India’s lies and deceit” and is speaking the “language of Indians”.

According to the official, the suspension does not include civilian assistance. It is mostly security assistance, with the provision of exceptions in case of national interest.

“Prior year funding for equipment that have not yet been delivered would be suspended. It includes the $255 million in FMF (foreign military funding) that was notified to Congress in August of last year. It totals about billions worth of military assistance that has been planned,” the official said, giving the breakdown of suspension of about $2 billion security assistance to Pakistan.

This also includes $900 million in the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), the official said, adding that US considers CSF as security aid, whole Pakistan considers this as a reimbursement.

“That is what approximately $2 billion worth of equipment and the Coalition support funding that that is in play,” the official said, reiterating that this has been suspended.

“I just want to be clear that it’s been suspended.

Nothing’s been reprogrammed. We’re hopeful that we can lift the suspension and the aid would be able to go forward. But at this time that’s what is suspended,” the official said.

Terrorist safe havens in Pakistan has been a problem for the US for the past 15 years and it has been one of the major reasons that the American efforts in Afghanistan have been frustrated.


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