15 November 2018

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Thursday September 6, 2018

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US Stops Aid To Pakistan over Failure to Take Action against Terrorists

Kabul (BNA) Pentagon said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants. The Trump administration says Pakistan has changed to safe haven for terrorist and extremist groups that are responsible for increasing insecurities and violence in Afghanistan. But U.S. officials had held out the possibility that Pakistan could win back that support if it changed its behavior. “Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 million was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said. Faulkner said the Pentagon aimed to spend the $300 million on “other urgent priorities” if approved by Congress. He said another $500 million in CSF was stripped by Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, to bring the total withheld to $800 million. The disclosure came ahead of an expected visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the top U.S. military officer, General Joseph Dunford, to Islamabad. Mattis told reporters on Tuesday that combating militants would be a “primary part of the discussion.”
Experts on the Afghan conflict, America’s longest war, argue that militant safe havens in Pakistan have allowed Taliban-linked insurgents in Afghanistan a place to plot deadly strikes and regroup after ground offensives. US politicians in Washington have realized that continuing of Pakistan in particular ISI’s interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan and supporting and financing the Taliban group and Haqqani Network have resulted in war stalemate in the country; therefore, they have made final decision to cancel aid to Pakistan. Afghan political experts have considered the step as effective towards convincing the Pakistan government to take decisive actions against terrorist groups in its soil.
“Cancellation of US aid to Pakistan means that terrorist and extremist groups have safe haven in the country and Islamabad has not taken decision actions against them. Now, it’s time for Afghanistan government to make use of the opportunity and file a complaint against Pakistan that is supporting the Taliban group and Haqqani Network killing innocent Afghans and planning destructive attacks on government and non-government institutions,” an Afghan political expert Ahmad Sayedi said.
The government of Afghanistan in a statement has also welcomed cancellation of US aid to Pakistan.
The Pentagon’s decision showed that the United States, which has sought to change Pakistani behavior, is still increasing pressure on Pakistan’s security apparatus. It also underscored that Islamabad has yet to deliver the kind of change sought by Washington. The Pentagon made similar determinations on CSF in the past, but this year’s move could get more attention from Islamabad, and its new prime minister, Imran Khan, at a time when its economy is struggling. Pakistan has received more than $33 billion in U.S. assistance since 2002, including more than $14 billion in CSF, a U.S. Defense Department program to reimburse allies that have incurred costs in supporting counter-insurgency operations.
Lailuma Noori
 

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