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Donald Trump scraps $300M Pakistan aid cash over terrorism claims

03 September, 2018, 18:59 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Capitol Hill in Washington US

The Pentagon on Saturday announced that it will cancel $300 million aid to Pakistan over its failure to take actions against terror groups.

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

Previously this year, Congress canceled $500 million in CSF monies to Pakistan.

"We will hear him and let him know the aspiration of the nation", Qureshi said.

Faulkner said, the United States continue to press Pakistan to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network and LeT in the region.

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

Pakistan has received more than $33 billion in US assistance in the past 16 years, including more than $14 billion in Coalition Support Funds. The top American diplomat is expected to raise issues related to counter terrorism during his meetings with the top Pakistani leaders. Mushahid Hussain noting that the money being withheld was never meant to be aid in the first place, but rather was money owed to Pakistan by the United States military for services provided during the war.

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

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.

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"We will listen to their point of view, and we will present our position to them", he said.

The cut came days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to touch down in Islamabad for his first visit since the election of new Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has vowed to seek better relations with the U.S. amid a new push for Afghan peace talks.

Mr. Pompeo already faced a frosty reception in Islamabad, particularly after he said in July the International Monetary Fund shouldn't extend a financial bail-out to Pakistan, in part, because it would help pay off Chinese loans to Pakistan.

Pakistan has fought fierce campaigns against homegrown militant groups, and says it has lost thousands of lives and spent billions of dollars in its long war on extremism.

Qureshi said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was not responsible for the latest tension or suspension of funds by the U.S. as the deal to reimburse Pakistan the cost of war on terror was agreed in past.

In March, a senior United States official said that Pakistan has "done the bare minimum to appear responsive to our requests", and concerns over a lack of action by Islamabad against militant groups still persist.

The so-called Coalition Support Funds (CSF) were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by US President Donald Trump at the start of the year when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with "nothing but lies & deceit".

The announcement came weeks after Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan took office amid concerns he would remain tolerant of terror groups including the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani network. While Washington insists that Pompeo raised the issue of terrorism Islamabad says the issue did not figure in the telephonic talk.

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