USA suspends $300 million in military aid to Pakistan

USA suspends $300 million in military aid to Pakistan

State Department said the USA was suspending "security assistance" to Pakistan as the trust level between the two countries drastically declined. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Joseph Dunford will accompany him to Pakistan, as they become the first senior U.S. officials to meet the Pakistan premier since his swearing-in ceremony last month.

The Pentagon has now sought Congressional determination to reprogramme United States dollars 300 million of its Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for Pakistan "due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy", Pentagon Spokesman Kone Faulkner told PTI.

Pentagon proposes to use the money, which came from the security-related Coalition Support Fund (CSF), for other purposes, if approved by Congress.

The funds will be allocated to "other urgent priorities", he said.

He said further funding stripped from Pakistan aid earlier this year brought the total withheld to $800m (£617m).

Talking about how the Pakistani government will press the USA officials, including Pompeo and top United States military officer General Joseph Dunford who are scheduled to visit Islamabad on September 5, he said, "We will sit and discuss this with him [Pompeo]". America has been opining that the Pakistan is failing to stop the terrorist activities on its ground despite receiving the US' financial aid.

Shah apprised USA was not giving any aid rather reimbursing Pakistan's expenditures incurred in WoT under Coalition Support Fund.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that the Pakistan-United States ties were now at a "standstill" as the USA has cancelled $300 million aid to Pakistan.

"We will sit and discuss this with him (Pompeo)".

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Earlier, the USA has temporarily discontinued its financial aid.

The suspension is part of a broader pullback in military aid for Pakistan announced by the Trump administration in January.

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. "No more!" he had said. USA officials claim both groups have sanctuaries in Pakistan from where they plot deadly attacks and regroup after ground offensives in Afghanistan.

As for Khan, he has opposed America's open-ended presence in Afghanistan and once suggested he might order USA drones to be shot down if they enter Pakistan's airspace.

Reuters reported in August that the Trump administration has quietly started cutting scores of Pakistani officers from coveted training and educational programs that have been a hallmark of bilateral military relations for more than a decade.

"This is a predictable and unsurprising decision".

Pakistan, a majority Muslim nation, has had a rocky relationship with its southeast neighbor India and has been a focus of the United States since the al-Qaeda terrorist group carried out the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center in 2001.

Sunday's move comes ahead of an expected visit by USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo and the top U.S. military officer, General Joseph Dunford, to Islamabad on 5 September.

Just over a week ago, a telephone conversation between Pompeo and Khan stirred up controversy, with Islamabad calling Washington's account of the discussion "factually incorrect". The US later said it was standing by the readout, refusing to "make a correction" as demanded by Pakistan.

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